Sun 30 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 30th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
We finally uploaded a few videos on our site. Not the best footage we’ve shot, but it’ll have to do. Just haven’t had time to properly shoot the lights this season.
Because it’s New Year’s Eve, the lights will be on tonight from 5pm-12:30am.
Happy New Year!
Tue 25 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 25th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
Mon 24 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 24th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
I’d like to thank everyone who helped out with traffic directing since the start of the show. I’d especially like to thank my parents, who have been out there every night for the past few days, making sure traffic flowed ok. As well, we are grateful to have received help from Troy, Creg, Philip, Gert and Linda. They have all provided many hours, assisting with traffic control.
Of course, we still need assistance directing traffic. If you’d like to help out, please send us an email email@example.com.
Tonight will be the busiest night of all! Be prepared for long wait times (up to 45 minutes) and please use extreme caution when driving…there will be lots of pedestrians. If you’d like to park and walk to the show, feel free to park on adjacent COURTS, just east of our Court.
We will be posting the 2007 video soon. Because I’ve been out directing traffic the last few nights, I haven’t had time to edit and post this footage yet.
Sun 23 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 23rd, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
Unfortunately, the town doesn’t properly clear the road of all snow and tends to plow to about 3′ away from the curb. Last week, after the storm, I spent many hours, clearing the ENTIRE Court from snow (what the town didn’t do). It is essential we have every square foot of roadway for our visitors.
I can’t possibly do the adjacent streets as there is far much to cover with a mere snow blower. I spoke with the traffic services department of Markham, requesting that adjacent streets be properly cleared of snow, right to the curb edge. Not to my surprise, they declined the request, explaining that they only have crews available for “emergency” snow clearance. It’s tight getting two cars past each other on the streets as of now, because the streets are 6′ narrower than normal.
Because there are no sidewalks, if you park and walk to the display, please use extreme caution! My question to the town is, “when will this be considered an emergency? After someone gets hurt?”
Sat 22 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 22nd, 2007 under Uncategorized Comments
Many have asked what our neighbours think of these crazy lights. Well, so far, the response from the neighbourhood has been entirely positive, with the unfortunate and sole exception of one of the newest neighbours. This family has not taken well to the lights and appears to feel that we stage this show to make its life miserable. In each of the last two years, this neighbour has delivered a rambling letter of complaint, listing a litany of issues. While some points may have some validity, the letters are replete with gross inaccuracies and exaggeration. We are not combative by nature so, in spite of the unpleasant and offensive language used in the letters, we have taken steps to try to assuage this neighbour’s concerns.
What we have done to date includes:
- shortened the hours of the display, on weeknights;
- shortened the overall length of the display from 5 weeks to 4 weeks;
- shortened the show from 6 minutes;
- provided signs that ask not to block driveways (which work 90% of the time);
- requested visitors keep radio volume down, (via our FM radio broadcast) and not litter;
- provided police traffic patrol in front of their driveway – at a cost of over $300 per night;
- cleaned up what little garbage there is from the street, daily;
- roped off neighbouring yards to foot traffic;
- had friends and family help direct traffic around Xmas.
Our immediate neighbours have been very supportive. This year, we have expanded the display to the property of one of them, at their request. This neighbour’s family not only provide moral support, but also drop by with hot chocolate and beer during those 15 hour days of working in the cold. Other neighbours have offered to help with the display and to direct traffic. In fact, everyone with whom we have contact, (except the neighbour already noted), continues to urge us to put on another display!
With the increased popularity of the show, it has become more stressful and challenging for us to pull off each year. Together with this, the complaining neighbour and the burgeoning traffic, (and lack of community support to assist in directing traffic), we almost had no display this season. However, thanks to support and encouragement from friends, neighbours, local community groups and members of the town council, we decided to go for one more year.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get York Regional Police to assist with traffic control, but ended up going in circles. The final word is…”They’ll be glad to help out – for $300 per night”. This is not what I was hoping for, so we will be compelled to fund this from collected donations, which reduces the amount available for the charities.
Last season we spent close to $3000 to have one police officer assist us in directing traffic, for a period of 8 nights. Until then, 100% of the collected donation money went to local charities. However, we were forced to make a decision to either shut down the display, or withdraw money from the collected donations to pay for nightly traffic control. As I did last year, I have urged our town councilor to press for police support with the traffic, but again have been unable to reach satisfactory conclusion, although she is otherwise very supportive of our efforts. I must also give thanks to the police department for making regular, nightly visits, making sure everything is ok.
This year will be a decision maker as to whether the display will continue at 4 Rosea in future years. We can no longer do this alone and need help from the community to make it work. I have put a request out to local high schools, looking for volunteers to help keep traffic flowing. High school students require a certain amount of volunteer work in order to graduate and I have confirmed with Thornlea Secondary School that we can grant these hours to any students wishing to partake. Our biggest problem is the sheer volume of traffic in such a short period of time. Wait times last season were up to 45 minutes, around Christmas Eve.
We thank everyone who has supported us, including those who have helped setup, to everyone who has emailed, thanking us for making their holiday season brighter and showing their appreciation for the work involved. A very special thanks to my parents who allow us to do this and store tons (literally) of lights, extension cords, controllers, etc. at their home.
Our display demands an incredible work effort and I know that most appreciate the result. To those who have offhandedly commented that we “have too much time on our hands”, let me just say that my brother and I have 40 hour work-week “real” jobs and spend all our spare time in November/December/January making this work. We take vacation days off work, sacrifice time-out with friends and put a complete hold on social life. All personal projects are put in abeyance, including even Christmas shopping.
We owe thanks to the sponsors who have supported us and have helped make the show what it is. It’s amazing how expensive this can become and, without their assistance, we would not be able to afford a display of this magnitude.
This season, the weather has given us everything from rain to snow to high winds, etc. We’ve been working in sub zero temperatures with wind chills down to -18 degrees and snow almost 6 inches deep. It’s been a battle getting the roof lights in place and working, as well as the grass grids. We had to snow-blow snow off the grass and drill holes in the ground to implant over 2,000 light stakes (the ground was frozen). It has been challenging, but we made it work!
The lights went on December 8th, and the new sequence was launched a week later. We cannot program before the lights are assembled, because we never know how many lights we’ll be able to get in place. At least we know that our efforts will bring joy and happiness, to (almost!) everyone. We wish everyone Happy Holidays!
Sun 16 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 16th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
We received about 20cm’s of snow today which covered a lot of the grass lights. It looks like we may have some above freezing temperatures this week, so the lights may re-appear then. Tomorrow (Monday) we’ll play our new sequence. The plan was to do that today, but due to weather, etc. we ended up delaying this release. The lights are still on. Be sure to visit BEFORE the Christmas rush.
Fri 14 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 14th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
Starting this evening, we will have paid duty police officers on site to handle additional, expected traffic flow. They will be on duty for most nights for the remainder of the season. These hires are not complimentary from the town or police department and will cost us more than $300 per night. Like last season, we’ll be forced to pull this money from collected donations. This is the only way we can keep this show going.
It’s ironic how visitors think electricity is the most expensive component of this show, but believe it or not, it’s one of the cheapest costs. With a projected fee of about $4000 for police support this year, this is quickly becoming one of our biggest expenses!
Enjoy the show!
P.S. We’re soon to release the new musical sequence.
Wed 5 Dec 2007
Posted by Lindsay LightsDecember 5th, 2007 under UncategorizedLeave a Comment
Well I’m sure you noticed on our main page that we’ll be turning the lights on this Saturday December 8th. As usual, we will play the same music as last year for the first week, until we complete the programming of the new song. The weather has been working against us this year, but we’re working to get everything done.
Our main webcam has quit working and needs to be repaired/replaced. Don’t worry, it’s on our list of things to do. We are hoping to have the streaming webcam functioning for the weekend.
See you soon!