It’s not uncommon once the sun goes down along Palaside Drive to see the silhouette of a couple standing on their neighbor’s lawn, staring back at their own home across the street.Since June, David and Patty Fantetti have hung the Christmas lights and fine-tuned their choreographed twinkling to music for the couple’s upcoming Christmas light show, set to debut this Sunday.They’re calling it the 2012 Christmas Light Spectacular, and the free light show is open to the public Nov. 25 through Dec. 31. They’ve also sent formal invitations to the mayor, city council members and both the fire and police chiefs in Concord.It’s no secret that the Fantettis like Christmas, and they like to share their spirit for it too.Each year they’ve put on a display; word of it has traveled by word of mouth and resulted in a steady flow of traffic along their street.Last year, eight Christmas-themed inflatables dotted their lawn, and the sights of slow-crawling minivans with children’s faces mashed up against windows became a regular sight.This year they decided to go bigger and better, scouring Craigslist, eBay and the local Habitat ReStore for second-hand lights.David, the superintendent for a general construction company, shaped metal into guitars, three-dimensional Christmas trees, snowflakes, and stars. Then he fashioned each one with strings of lights.Patty, a paralegal, spent more than 200 hours choreographing lights to the music spectators will be able to hear on their car radios.“I have it all on a spreadsheet,” she said.When asked how many bulbs they used for the display the couple answered in unison:“17,821.”How many feet of extension cord?“2,500.”Electrical plugs?“100.”Anticipated electric bill?“It won’t be any worse than when my kid came home from college for the summer,” said Patty.When asked by the occasional curious driver why they’re hanging lights in June, Patty has had a quick answer, too.“You know, 17,000 lights don’t just jump on a house.”But it’s not just the lights the Fantettis hope will stir the Christmas spirit in passersby.For the last eight years the family’s holiday gatherings have required friends and relatives to bring gifts for nearby charities.This year will be no different, but they’re extending the invitation to those who watch the light show.“A friend of ours has a daughter who plays trumpet in the East Davidson High School Band,” said Patty. The band has no money to do anything, but somehow they pull off the most amazing shows with nothing.”The Fantettis have bought the band a set of chimes and a flute, and hope by allowing them to sell hot cocoa outside their house during the light show they can collect a few donations, too.Earlier in the month the band clamored like elves along the roof to hang strings of lights on the house.“To me, it’s clear as a bell why we do it,” said Patty. “Christmas is the one time a year when people stop and come together, united and peaceful.”
Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
Concord couple gets ready for home’s 17,821 holiday lights
Concord couple goes all-out for their home’s holiday light display
David Fantetti created all the displays by hand for the show. LISA THORNTON
David and Patty Fantetti spent months putting up lights on their house for next week's Christmas Light Spectacular. LISA THORNTON
Want to go? The 2012 Christmas Light Spectacular is Nov. 25-Dec. 31 at 263 Palaside Drive, Concord. Hours: 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Drivers can tune into 90.3 FM on their car radios to hear the music for the 17,821-bulb Christmas light show at the Fantetti family home. The light show is free to the public, with donations accepted to support the East Davidson High School Marching Band in Thomasville.