The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Holiday hobby turns into tradition

Local home stops traffic with Christmas light show

 

Courtney Fletcher

The Tomsick's house on Deaver Drive in Sidney is decorated with 16,000 lights, Santa and a radio station that broadcasts Christmas music synced to the lights.

It's the time of the year when locals get into the holiday spirit by putting lights on their house and decorations in their yard.

For the Tomsick family, the holidays wouldn't be the same without a synchronized Christmas light display. With singing trees, Santa and classic Christmas music, there's something for everyone to enjoy at the Tomsick home.

Dennis and Mary Beth Tomsick and their children, Cara and Joseph, have worked together since 2007 to make their house on Deaver Drive in Sidney scream Christmas.

"I first saw a YouTube video of someone that did it," Dennis explained. "We spent the whole weekend trying to figure out if it was real or if it was something that was just edited on the video. We started researching it and realized I could build the same kind of control systems."

As the family did more research, they found other people who were also making synchronized displays.

"This year's display is completely different than any of the ones we've ever done," he said. "I try to add one new thing every year and this year I was going to add the one new thing, a spiral tree, but then I was looking at other things that would be cool and kind of went crazy. I ended up completely redoing the entire set up."

Singing trees on the roof, LED lights outlining the house and a sign that lights up directing listeners to tune in to 87.9 FM to follow along with the show are a few new features to this year's program.

Preparation began in mid October, when 80 hours of work was put in just to build the displays.

Once the displays were built and painted, it took 120 hours for the Tomsick family set up and connect all of the wires for their creation. This year there are 16,000 lights on the house with nearly five miles of extension cords connecting everything.

"I have 10 songs and it takes me an average of 12 hours per song to program it," he said. "The fastest we've ever set it up was a couple of years ago when we did it in a weekend."

According to Dennis, this is something that started as a hobby but has become a tradition for the family.

"I caught the bug the first year I did it," he said. "For me, it's something that's kind of a neat challenge that I like to do. It takes a lot of time, but I like they way it looks."

The 40-minute light show is not only synchronized to Christmas music, but also includes talking clips from the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in between each song.

"What's weird is that there are still a lot of people that don't know there's a radio station for it," he said. "They will drive up and watch the lights and drive off a couple minutes later without listening to music."

The family encourages the community to not shy away from parking in front of their house to get in the Christmas spirit.

Daily from 4:30 to 11 p.m. until the first weekend of January, locals will be able to enjoy the lights and music of 646 Deaver Drive.

 

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