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Waterport light display draws crowds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Tom Hubert has turned his front yard into a festival of lights at 1894 Oak Orchard River Rd. Hubert’s display switches to different strands of lights, so the colors change and different elements are lighted up during his 17-minute show.

WATERPORT – The cars start lining up the day after Thanksgiving, when Tom Hubert’s front yard turns into a festival of lights.

For the past five years, Hubert has set up an elaborate display at 1894 Oak Orchard River Rd. He uses 13 controllers and more than 40,000 lights as part of the display. He also has an FM radio transmitter so people can tune into 87.9 to hear a 17-minute music show that is timed with the lights.

“I don’t know who likes it more, the people stopping by or me putting in together,” Hubert said. “People ask, ‘Why?’ and I say, ‘Why not?’”

Hubert welcomes to cars to line up on the side of the road. He runs the show from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.The lights will be up until New Year’s Eve.

Hubert has been adding new elements to the display since he started it with 10,000 lights.

These pictures show the same trees and elements with different strands of lights lit up. Hubert uses controllers to alternate strands of lights. “I don’t want it to be stagnant.”

“I’ve always had a fascination with Christmas lights,” he said.

At first he decorated his house with some static light displays. Then he researched elaborate light displays on the Internet and learned how to program controllers.

He starts setting up the light display in October, but his work on the computer starts in the summer, so the lights go off in a sequence set to music. Hubert said the lights aren’t too big of a hit on his electric bill because they are off most of the time because of the controllers. He said he may pay $75 in added electricity when the display is on for about six weeks.

Hubert works for the Rochester Housing Authority. He enjoys the open spaces in the country. Christmas lights are a fun hobby, he said, and so are animals. He breeds and sells Nigerian Dwarf Goats at River View Farm.

Hubert’s lighting display is just north of the Route 279 bridge over Lake Alice. After crossing the bridge, turn left and Hubert’s is maybe 50 yards away. You can’t miss it.