By day, Lawton Valley Hunt is like any other neighborhood in the town of Clay during the holiday season. By night, however, Harriet Fisher Drive is transformed into a front row seat to Steve Scicchitano's front yard holiday light show.
For the fourth year in a row, Scicchitano has created a sequenced light show set to the music of four holiday classics that one can watch from the comfort of his or her car.
The lights are sequenced to the music-Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song, Amazing Grace, and a song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra-using the computer software system Light-O-Rama. Scicchitano uses 64 different "channels," or 64 ways the lights can be turned on and off to the beats and lyrics of the music.
The songs are broadcast over an FCC-approved low frequency transmitter set up in Scicchitano's garage. Passerby's can tune in to 107.3 in their cars to hear the Christmas tunes, much like Onondaga Lake Park's Wegmans Lights on the Lake. The entire show, including the songs and two brief introductions, lasts about ten minutes.
It takes Scicchitano, his daughters Emily, 11, and Maria, 6, and his wife Debbie about three months to sequence the show, set up the decorations, and string up all the extension cords before the start of the holiday season. During the month and a half that the show runs, Scicchitano said he surprisingly only pays an extra $50 in his electric bill. He attributes this to the fact that all the lights are rarely on at the same time.
Despite the numerous cars that drive slowly through the neighborhood and cluster in front of his home, Scicchitano said he has had no issues with his neighbors so far, and that "the community has really adopted the show."
"About twenty to forty cars stop outside the house to watch the show each night," said Scicchitano. "During the week of Christmas, we expect even more than that."