EAST WILTON – What started out as a small Christmas light display has grown into an impressive animated light show well worth the drive.
Phil and Kim Hilton’s house at 1228 Main Street (Old Route 2) is a multi-colorful light extravaganza something akin to fireworks on the Fourth of July.
From 5 to 10 p.m. everyday, a 21-foot tree of lights dances with a line up of smaller trees also covered in lights, is next to Charlie Brown and friends, which is next to their house outlined in multiple strings of white lights with a big 6-foot-tall Bethlehem Star perched on the roof. All this means a whole lot of lights. To be exact: 96 strings of mini lights, four strings of strobe lights, and another two strings of mini lights on the star for a grand total of 9,821 lights, Phil Hilton said.
The nearly 10,000 lights are programed to blink in sync with a musical play list of 11 songs viewers find on their car radios at 96.9 FM. On a recent night, five or six cars sat across from the display in the parking lot of the former Backus Garage watching the show with the same music heard playing from the radios. The Hilton’s show began on Dec. 2 and will run until Jan. 6.
“We were always looking to build our display bigger,” Hilton said. The idea of a display set to music came from the well-advertised one in Auburn. Called Auburn Lights, the home of Jamie Loggins on Vista Drive has attracted a large following, along with some traffic problems every year. That was until last year when Loggins decided not to have the display, Hilton said.
“We’d seen a video of the Auburn lights and said, ‘Hey, I wish we could do it,'” Hilton said. When Loggins decided not to do it last year, the Hiltons decided to do a similar display here this year.
“We wanted to give something back to the community,” he said. Loggins’ lights in Auburn are on again this year but now the drive to see a light display is much closer at the Hilton’s house and comes with it a convenient parking lot across the street.
Hilton is asking that when viewers park across the street to see the display, to please stay in their vehicles and keep the radio at a reasonable level, because he is worried things may be getting a bit too loud for their neighbors.
“We’re really concerned because someone is living over the Backus Garage and too many people are turning up their radios and leaving the car doors open,” he said.
Since plugging in the display, Hilton said a lot of people have told him how much they appreciate it. So much so, offers of helping to pay for the electrical bill have been made. Instead, the Hiltons suggest a donation to the Wilton Food Pantry, which he noted could really use the help this time of year.
“This is our gift to the community,” Hilton said and added, “Merry Christmas.”