While watching Super Bowl XL, Tom and Ed saw a commercial featuring a house decorated with dancing lights that moved to the beat of the music. Ed looked over at Tom and said, “We could do that!”
Tom and Ed both have a passion for holiday lights and enjoyed decorating for the holiday spirit as children. They decorated their Arvada home with traditional lights for years, so the prospect of a true light show intrigued them. Ed has a technical background and Tom is the music lover. They created a small display sequenced to music. It was a success. The following year, they made the display bigger and better. People asked Tom and Ed if they could donate to help pay for the electric bill. Neither wanted money – they put up their display simply for the joy of it. However, the idea of collecting donations for a charity sounded like a good idea.
Tom’s ex-wife worked at a counseling center for girls. The center received food from Food Bank of the Rockies. Tom reached out to the food bank and the rest is history. Since 2008, 100% of the donations raised from the light show are donated to the food bank.
Setting up the display is no small task. Tom and Ed spend about 100 hours and start preparing six weekends before Thanksgiving. It takes 4- 5 hours to synchronize lights with one minute of music. They’ve created two 30-minute shows, investing about 300 hours, making sure 213 different light channels move perfectly to the beat.
They turn the lights on after Thanksgiving, and on the busiest nights, more than 500 cars come to watch. Senior center buses and limos filled with light seekers visit too. One year Tom and Ed came home from dinner to find a Hummer Limo parked in front of their house. The limo was filled with Home Depot employees and a surprise award celebrating their display as the best in the community.
They’ve faced a few challenges. Losing a beloved maple tree in their front yard required some reorganizing. A 15” snowstorm buried their inflatables for the first week two weeks of this year. A rainstorm shorted out the show. And the city is doing repairs on their street.
These setbacks haven’t stopped the dynamic duo. This will be Tom and Ed’s eleventh year bringing joy to the neighborhood and collecting donations for Food Bank of the Rockies. “We’ve been lucky in life. We’re putting up the lights anyway. It feels good to deliver our check and know all the work we do will benefit someone,” Tom says.
We’re grateful for Tom and Ed’s creativity and giving spirits. If you’re near 12177 W 58th Place in Arvada this holiday season, stop by for a song or two.
The display runs:
- Mondays – Thursdays and Sundays, 5 – 10 pm,
- Fridays and Saturdays, 5 – 11 pm,
- 5 pm – midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Thank you, Tom and Ed, for your dedication to bring joy to the community, not only with your lights, but also with your hearts! We’re so grateful you care!