, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 14, 2012

Amesbury display 'way behind' in toy donations


“The scariest thing was when all the cars parked on the other side of the street, and everyone was standing on this side of the street to watch the show,” Edmands said. “Cars coming up the street were swerving to avoid the parked cars and almost hitting the people.”

He also keeps an eye on the little kids to make sure they don’t run into the street or try to touch any of the lights.

“A lot of little kids want to touch the stuff, but there are over 400 extension cords on the ground,” Edmands said. “I don’t need a little kid lighting up as part of the show.”

Edmands said it takes roughly a month between Halloween and Thanksgiving to rig up all of the lights. He’ll start by decorating the house, and then he’ll slowly creep down into the flowerbeds before eventually covering the yard with lights, decorations and extension cords.

Once he’s had a chance to cut the grass nice and short one last time, he’ll set up the big tree, the arches and the little trees on the lawn while laying out a blanket of extension cords. Usually it’s all set up by Thanksgiving, and on the day after Thanksgiving he’ll hold a private show for his neighbors.

“They’re the ones who are inconvenienced the most,” Edmands said. “Then the Sunday after Thanksgiving is when it opens to the public.”

As far as the songs go, Edmands said he works on those year round. Given the complexity of process, it can take anywhere from a month to two and a half months to program one song, but after six years of work he has established a solid base to work off of.

Amazingly, Edmands is already thinking ahead to next year, when he plans on retiring “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and replacing it with something new.

“It was one of the first songs I ever programmed. I used to leave it in there for nostalgia, because of how basic the programming was compared to what I can do now,” Edmands said. “But, yeah, that’s gone for next year. My daughter is already on iTunes looking up new songs for me.”

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