Get Into the Christmas Spirit With A 14,000 Light Show
Sonora, CA – If this doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit nothing will.
It is the “2019 Christmas Light Show Presented by Kelly Roofing.” “We started out with about ten thousand lights and this year there are fourteen thousand,” boasts a beaming Jim Cruff, whose home is used for the event.
Those lights are synchronized to music and decorate not only Cruff’s house but his lawn and trees. There are also lighted toy soldiers, a snowman and a sleigh. A special attraction this year is a Christmas tree with lights that combine to make images dance across it. Cruff explains, “Each light on the tree is a pixel. There are 400 pixels on the tree so it would be considered a low-resolution TV. They are low-resolution graphics” Video in the image box shows the wave of lights on the tree.
Some may be wondering how much it costs to run this show. Surprisingly little, according to Cruff, “We use nearly all LED lights. For the last two years, we’ve measured our electricity use and it cost us about a dollar a day.”
Another new feature this year is Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen where kids can decorate a cookie and create a Christmas themed craft. Cruff works tirelessly to put on this holiday extravaganza, but he admits he has an ulterior motive; raising money for sports scholarships for children of low-income families as Cruff is also the president of the non-profit Athletic Scholarship Foundation of Tuolumne County.
Although it is free to see the light show, donations are accepted. Over the past three years, nearly 300 scholarships have been issued. This year the goal is to raise $3,000. Cruff points out, “The money goes directly to the league or the sports facility. We do not give the money directly to the families.”
The light show, which is also sponsored by Chicken Ranch Casino, runs through New Year’s Eve, 6 p.m.to 9 p.m. each night. It is located at 21768 Joyce Court in Sonora off Phoenix Lake Road. It is advised to bring a flashlight as the roadway can get crowded and you may have to park away from the house. For additional questions call (209) 651-2001 between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Smiling Cruff shares that all the hard work is worth it, saying, “I love to watch the people’s reaction, their excitement.” He recounts, “Last year we had a group of kids come out and when the song “Y.M.C.A.” came on they got up and danced. It was beautiful!”