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Leechburg man’s famed holiday display goes up despite loss, hardship

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Leechburg man’s famed holiday display goes up despite loss, hardship

| Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, eight:00 p.m.

The in style Leechburg Lights present on Main Street will shine brightly this month after going darkish earlier this yr due to a collection of misfortunes and tragedy.

Homeowner and present creator Clyde Lindsey’s yr has been considered one of heartache and hardships, however, he says, the present should go on.

He started working in October putting in hundreds of lights, prepping his historic house for what he deems his “labor of love.”

Lindsey created his fashionable synchronized mild display in 2008.

Originally just some lighted strings, his display now options greater than 13,500 LED and RGB bulbs — which equates to 40,500 common lights — all synchronized to conventional holiday music.

Each bulb has the capability to display one among three colours: blue, purple and inexperienced, and with RGB know-how, Lindsey can program up to one million colour mixtures.

Always loopy for Christmas, Lindsey by no means imagined his humble first mild present would develop right into a group custom that’s gearing up for its ninth season.

Lindsey calls himself a “lighter,” an individual with the interest of constructing, programming and designing holiday mild shows. He has an expansive social community outlet and connects with different lighters from across the U.S.

He stated he has produced 135 video tutorials on setting up holiday mild shows and has greater than 1,700 YouTube subscribers.

Lindsey launches his holiday setup round Halloween, and he works for 5 weeks to finish his imaginative and prescient.

His setup time is dictated by the temperature and climate, however this fall’s heat temperatures have been accommodating.

“I am actually two weeks ahead of schedule compared to last year,” he stated. “The unpacking, shifting and putting in the 9 reindeer on the roof is the hardest.

“It takes 18 trips to the attic to get them all down.”

He plans to debut this yr’s present on Saturday, coinciding with Leechburg’s annual Luminate Leechburg festivities.

“There is nothing else I want to do,” Lindsey stated. “This is my hobby, and it calms me down.”

Persevering via loss

Lindsey’s stress ranges have been decidedly raised this yr after his residence caught hearth in February, inflicting main injury all through his 100-plus-year-old house.

The electrical hearth was brought on by a defective energy line.

Then a sewer line backup wreaked extra havoc.

Steadily engaged on renovations, Tom Kenney, Lindsey’s contractor and shut good friend, labored alongside Lindsey, making repairs to the decrease degree of the house, which Lindsey rents out. Lindsey lives upstairs.

Kenney was killed in June in an vehicle accident. Lindsey continues to be reeling from the lack of his pal.

“I spoke with him 10 minutes before it happened,” Lindsey stated. “I was the last person to hear his voice.”

But Lindsey stated he by no means considered giving up. “I feel he is with me,” he stated.

Lindsey has spent the final eight months repairing, transforming and rebuilding — each emotionally and logistically.

The restore prices have been daunting, and Lindsey is “almost” achieved paying off the remaining debt.

He stated he spent his life financial savings — $26,000 — on repairs.

“I am really looking forward to 2017 after this year,” he stated.

Public awaits mild present

Barney Wiles of Leechburg likes to stroll his canine, Elvis, day by day and just lately stopped by to examine on the lighting progress.

Wiles stopped to admire the “Mega Tree” as Lindsey ran checks on the lights. The Mega Tree stands almost 20 ft tall and prices about $1,000.

“I would love to get another Mega Tree for the other side of the house,” Lindsey stated.

“This is great, what he does,” stated Wiles, who resides within the Leechburg High Rise a block away. “You couldn’t do this just anywhere. Our little town is safe.”

Lindsey has by no means had points with vandalism. He credit the pleasant, small-town environment Leechburg provides to his peace of thoughts as soon as his display is about up every season.

Lindsey awaits the general public

In the previous, Lindsey would typically disguise behind a big tree and sneak peeks of tourists stopping to view the present.

“The new sidewalks and sewer repair took out that tree now,” Lindsey stated, mentioning a brand new clean and degree sidewalk in entrance of his residence.

Lindsey stated he enjoys arriving house after a busy day as assistant supervisor of Kings Family Restaurant in Kittanning and seeing the general public ready for the present to start out.

“My favorite aspect of the show is seeing the road and parking lots filled with people,” Lindsey stated. “But what gets me going even more is hearing the kids carry on with excitement.”

Leechburg native Dennis Miller lives subsequent to Lindsey, and jokingly has dubbed the display “Leechburg’s Las Vegas.”

Miller pops over to go to and assist Lindsey typically.

“I love it. It’s festive,” Miller stated. “I even bring out hot chocolate sometimes for the visitors, and l love to check out the license plates of the cars to see where people are from.”

Miller has observed auto plates from Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.

“I usually have 100 cars on opening night,” stated Lindsey, who appreciates his neighbors’ endurance throughout December when Main Street sees an uptick in visitors — each pedestrian and automotive.

Synchronizing the music

Lindsey runs his complete present from an upgraded laptop computer. He plans to broaden his playlist this yr from 14 to just about 30 songs. His favourite is “Silent Night.”

He plans to program a re-mixed, extra up-tempo variation as one of many new songs.

Lindsey painstakingly sequences every music on his pc, with 20 to 30 hours of programming required for every music.

And how a lot does all of this holiday brightness have an effect on his electrical invoice?

“It’s about $100 more per month,” Lindsey stated, because of energy-efficient mild know-how.

Leechburg Mayor Shawn Lerch commends Lindsey’s dedication.

“He does a remarkable job with his countless hours of sweat equity and unselfishness to put up a magnificent display that grows every year,” Lerch stated. “It brings individuals from close to and much to take pleasure in what’s now a Christmas custom in Leechburg.

“Keep up the great work, sir. A lot of folks can’t wait to see this year’s show!”

Joyce Hanz is a contract author.

More Valley News Dispatch

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