NJ man’s crazy holiday light display has neighbors glowing mad
OLD BRIDGE — Growing up, Thomas Apruzzi said he always dreamed of having his own house where he could have his own large Christmas lights display.
Now his 70,000-light extravaganza is achieving that dream while also bringing complaints from neighbors because of the large crowds drawn to the otherwise quiet street.
Apruzzi said he has been doing the lights at his house for more than a decade and has been making the display bigger every year despite complaints from the same people.
"The neighbors that have been complaining are the same neighbors that have been complaining the past four years," he said.
The four years Apruzzi referred to ties to when the house was featured on the ABC series "The Great Christmas Light Fight" in 2014.
"Once the show aired it started getting crazy with people coming to see it," he said. "What happened was one of the neighbors tried to get media attention on it and once the media hit it, it was all over the place. It actually made it worse for them because they started something and now it's doubled in size."
Apruzzi's display includes close to 70,000 RGB lights can be made any color he wants, as well as the more classic animated wire frame decorations. That includes covering the length of his roof with a display that can display any images he wants.
"Now that I'm able to afford it, I want to give the public something that they want to see," he said. "I try to bring smiles to people's faces."
Mayor Owen Henry said that while the township has received complaints, Apruzzi's display is not violating any local laws and steps are being taken to address crowd control and other concerns.
"I'm not worried about inconveniences, but when they raise the issue of public safety and thinking that they cannot get an emergency vehicle down the street should anyone need it, the town has to step in," he said.
Henry said he has been working with the emergency responders in the town to ensure that the people coming to see the display are safe.
What the town has done so far, according to the mayor, has been to block the street to cars except for residents. As a result, he said people are parking on adjoining streets and walking to the brightly lit house. With this presenting its own safety risks, Henry said they are looking at alternatives to keep pedestrians even safer.
"We're already thinking about next year, and what steps might have to be taken if we have to take any additional steps," he said.
"I'm not going to be the Grinch that pulls the plug on this. I'm not going to change the name of the street to Bah Humbug Avenue," he said.
Apruzzi's display is usually up through New Years Day for those who want to see it during this holiday season.