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Holiday Light Show Brightens South Slope Block

By Leslie Albrecht | December 23, 2013 3:52pm
 The award-winning creators of 22nd Street's Holiday Light Spectacular are lighting up the block again.
'Holiday Light Spectacular' Brightens South Slope Block
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PARK SLOPE — The days are merry and extra bright in the South Slope this holiday season.

The annual Holiday Light Spectacular has returned to 22nd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, dazzling the quiet block with an elaborate music and light show.

The front yard display was created by Ryan Powers and Chris Schneider, local residents with theater backgrounds. They use special computer software that programs flashing lights to blink in time to Christmas songs. The handmade display takes weeks to design and assemble and uses dozens of extension cords.

This year's show features a giant gingerbread house (made of metal, not pastry) draped with more than 5,000 incandescent bulbs, plus LED candy canes and lollipops.

"We crammed almost every single light we had into the gingerbread house structure to make it as bright as possible," Schneider said.

The house glows in time to three different songs: Bob Dylan's "Must Be Santa," a dubstep version of the "Nutcracker Suite," and "Auld Lang Syne." The Nutcracker sequence includes audio snippets from the 1989 movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

Visitors push a gumdrop button on a gingerbread man to start the show, which can be seen between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly, through Jan. 4.

Last year's version of the Holiday Light Spectacular won three seasonal display contests, including a national competition by the lighting company Light-O-Rama.

Neighbors have yet to complain about the noise and light from the display, which is now in its sixth year. Schneider and Powers plan to keep the tradition going as long as they can.

"Everyone just tells us what a jewel it is to the neighborhood, and hopefully we can continue," Schneider said.

See a video of last year's Holiday Light Spectacular show here.