Displays in the area light it up in preparation for the holidays

Aubrey Stellman, Guest Reporter

Aubrey Stellman

Whether they are over-the-top decorations that blink to music, an entire town decked head-to-toe, or only the typical simple-yet-homey display of decor, the light displays put up each year are a classic holiday tradition. Plenty such displays of Christmas lights have been created by homeowners in the area around Utica High School, spreading holiday spirit all around.

Eric Duby, a homeowner in Rochester, was eager to spread the tradition. However, he went above and beyond the usual level of a house’s Christmas display. Duby’s display consisted of 64 channels of lights and over 9600 bulbs, all programmed to flash to the tune of 16 different songs, which can be listened to on 90.1 FM on any passerby’s car radio.

“I saw it on the Great Christmas Light Fight TV Show, and I was curious as to how they did it,” Duby said. “I started researching and looking into it, figuring out what the technology was, and I love it.”

As it turns out, he wasn’t the only one with the idea. Another house in Shelby Township sported lights that blinked to music as well, this time on 87.9 FM. The display was created to pay tribute to the friends and family that the home’s owners lost in 2016. Despite the year-round hard work it takes, the family loves running the Vineyard Avenue Light Show.

“I get messages about how it brightened people’s day, put them in a good holiday mood,” Matthew Mark, its owner, said. “They take their children to watch, and the kids dance in the cars. Everyone seems to really enjoy it.

Mark’s display also honors the military, first responders, and law enforcement.

Larger displays can be found adorning the downtown areas of Utica and Rochester. Buildings in downtown Rochester are completely covered in colored lights this winter in Rochester’s Big, Bright Light Show, a tradition the town has kept up for 12 years.

“I like it a lot,” Ashley Shreve, a visitor to the Rochester lights, said. “Just coming out and seeing all the people.”

Utica’s display is much more modest, but Memorial Park by the Clinton River is decorated with a cozy display, including, of course, the town’s Christmas tree, which was lit earlier this month. Wreaths and lights can also be seen on posts along the street.

Plenty of houses decorate around Christmas on a much smaller scale, and when many of them are put together, the effect of even a small arrangement can go a long way in continuing the tradition of public Christmas lights, which became popular in the early 20th century.

Duby’s display can be seen at 431 Oak Arbor Circle E in Rochester, and Mark’s can be seen on 46600 Vineyard Avenue in Shelby Township. The Utica and Rochester displays are located on Auburn Road and Main Street, respectively.