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Musical Holiday Light Display Benefits AWLA

by ARLnow.com — November 27, 2012 at 11:55 am 3,155 12 Comments

Tom and Jo Straub have prided themselves on their elaborate Christmas light display for years. Only recently have they started using it to raise money for a good cause.

The couple has transformed the front yard of their Leeway Overlee area house, located at 5612 24th Street N., into a “dancing” light show synchronized to 15 of their favorite Christmas songs.

The display contains some 10,000 LED lights, which blink and “dance” with the music. The tunes can be heard from speakers outside the house and via a low-power radio station they set up for people who’d rather stay in their cars with the windows up. The station can be found at 98.1 on the FM dial.

The lights have been on display since Thanksgiving night and will be on every night through New Years Day. The show runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Santa Claus (as played by Mr. Straub) is on hand from 6:00 to 8:00 on most nights.

Not only are the lights fun to watch, but they’re also helping to raise money for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. A small mailbox near the street collects cash donations for the AWLA, as well as donations of pet food, pet beds, toys and other pet supplies. Once a donation is made, the donor can reward themselves by hitting a button near the mailbox for a small bonus light show.

Last year was the couple’s first year collecting for the AWLA. Tom Straub said they collected $1,100 for the organization, and hopes to raise even more this year.

Straub said the display requires about 2,000 feet of extension cords and takes all year to plan. He said the outdoor speakers turn off at 8:00 and he hasn’t heard any serious complaints from neighbors this year. He has, however, received a complaint about his Santa-like beard, which he started growing in June 2011.

“The wife is fed up with it, so it’s coming off on the 24th,” he said.

  • Hikin’ the pike

    I’ll open the comments with: How does the sign ordinance play into this?

  • BeerGuy

    Anyone ever had Straub beer from PA? Start easy so you can build up a tolerance.

    • malaka

      4.3% ABV requires a tolerance….for pi$$water maybe!

      • BeerGuy

        Apparently it’s not pasteurized or some other thing that doesn’t allow you to keep it very long. It’s not the alcohol that will knock you on your butt.

  • WeiQiang

    they’ll be closed in six weeks

  • Wilbur

    Yah, unfortunately by collecting money they just turned themselves into a commercial venture (non profits are commercial ventures too, they are just non profit). They are now vulnerable to complaints for being out of compliance with commercial zoning. They may regret their decision.

    • Mona

      I can see the headlines now….. Arlington County shuts down Santa’s 4 week lightshow and charity fundraising due to commercial zoning compliance… The news would be all over it. Arlington County would probably regret it…

    • Glebe Roader

      Not!

  • emanon

    we live not too far from this house, and it’s pretty cool to sit and watch/listen for a song or two.

  • Bon Air mom

    My son is STILL talking about the candy he got from Santa – a candy cane – when we drove by the house last year. Glad to see that they are doing it again. Will have to time it accordingly so I can hear about Santa for the next 12 months.

  • C. S. Greenfield

    News of this light show has spread all the way to Ashburn!

  • CW

    Every time you hit the button, AWLA ignores another leash law complaint!!

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