OK, so we don’t have real snow.
That hasn’t stopped the Wilson family at 1121 W. Willow Run Drive in Port Orange from going all out to make sure their property is a magnet for adults and children to enjoy a fabulous light display. And it is for charity.
The family consists of Brian, his wife, Michelle, their younger children, Heather, Elizabeth and Russell, three children who have moved out on their own, and Michelle's mother, Virginia Arsenault. They have only been in the home since August, but they are passionate about bringing the Christmas spirit to Port Orange like they did so many years in New England.
Mr. Wilson designs the elaborate display, but everyone pitches in to put it up.
“I’ve got roughly 20,000 lights,” he said. “We have numerous blowups. I have made a couple of Christmas trees by hand and some stars along with the wishing well that Santa Claus is in. Part of the lights are synchronized to music as well as the large 120-inch movie screen. As the music is playing, there also are videos playing in the background that are synchronized with the music.”
The garage door also has a screen that plays New Year’s Day and Christmas-themed videos and you can see numerous animated characters spread throughout the property as well.
There is a large barn on the property, but Mr. Wilson said he didn’t have time to decorate it this year, but will next year.
“I have been doing something with lights probably 40 years. My father got me into it and showed me how to do it,” he said. “Then he stopped doing it and I took over. About five years ago we started talking about doing a larger display.”
And a plus for this year, he said. “All the wood I have used is all recycled from the hurricane.”
He added a big reason they do it is seeing how much children enjoy the show. They also are doing a charity drive for Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic and are asking the public to drop off cat and dog food in the box they have provided out front. They will take the donations to Ravenwood and the staff will in turn donate the food to local shelters. Donations are optional. (The Wilsons are dog lovers with four dogs of their own).
Michelle Wilson said, “(Brian) enjoys it. It is his hobby. I support him in it. I love seeing the kids run around and everyone ‘oohing and aahing.’ This is an all-year process. He is always thinking-new ideas, songs, programming.”
Ms. Arsenault said, “I enjoy it. I like to keep the curtains open and I sit there and watch it. I like to listen to the kids laughing. That is what I really enjoy.”
Mr. Wilson said for every minute of airplay, it takes four hours to program. This year’s show runs over 100 minutes. You can tune your radio to 100.1 FM or the music is broadcast on speakers outside.
The public is welcome to view the display 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Jan. 2, which happens to be Brian Wilson’s birthday.
The Wilsons plan to have both Halloween and Christmas displays, and charity drives in 2018.