Lighting up the holidays

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For information about the Vista Drive light show, go to auburnlights.com

AUBURN — The Christmas House on Vista Drive will be back this year, aglow with holiday cheer.

Jamie and Karen Loggins will add more lights and a few surprises for the 2009 display, Jamie Loggins said, after taking a break last year from the holiday spectacular.

The couple, with help from family and friends, set up the extraordinary light display in 2006 and 2007, turning it on the first week each December. They brought the tradition to Auburn when they moved here, having done the same thing in former homes in the Midwest and California the previous four years.

They use software to choreograph the lights and music, make their own wooden shapes defined by blinking lights and their own extension cords to save money. And, they string something close to 130,000 lights on their lawn, in trees and on their rooftop.

There will be even more lights this year, Jamie Loggins said, and some surprises in the display.

Loggins considers his family’s display a Christmas gift to the community and hopes the sights and sounds contribute to people’s enjoyment of the holiday season.

Motorists are invited to come to Vista Drive, tune to FM Christmas Radio 88.1, and enjoy the synchrony of lights and music as they slowly drive past the Loggins’ home.

The couple is considering shortening the show so people don’t linger too long, which ties up traffic. They also are considering putting together several displays and scheduling them on different days of the week so people can come back and see something different on their next visit.

Another change may be the way traffic is controlled in this suburban cul-de-sac.

Jamie Loggins has been consulting with the Auburn Police Department to arrange a more visible police presence, which both he and police believe is necessary to keep the peace.

In 2007, police were called to the house to break up a fight, and some motorists have made it difficult for Vista Drive residents to get into their driveways.

Loggins said he hopes to get the display online the first weekend of December and, as before, is relying on a lot of help from friends and family. Loggins has a busy bariatric practice at Central Maine Medical Center, and last weekend competed in the Ford Ironman event in Tempe, Ariz., after months of intensive training for the swim, bike and run. That hasn’t left a lot of time to put the display together, but he’s hopeful there will be real signs of progress this weekend.

His two-car garage has been converted into a Santa’s workshop for construction, with several helpers unpacking and stringing lights there Friday.

The return of the Christmas House display is welcome news to fans who have been drawn to the pulsing display of lights and music.

Several comments posted on Loggins’ “The Magic of the Season in Holiday Lights” Web site welcome the return of the display.

“We are thrilled to hear the 2009 holiday will include your lighting display. We travel 1 hour each way to enjoy them, often repeatedly before the holidays are over. Our 3 toddlers are so thrilled that the “blinking, blinking house” is going to be part of our traditions this year. Thanks for all you do and enjoy your holiday season,” was posted by “Kellie.”

A grandmother who lives in Oxford wrote about she looked forward to taking her 3-year-old grandson to the display, but admitted, “I’ll enjoy it as much as he will.”

As always, the Loggins ask visitors to be courteous to the families who live on Vista Drive by not blocking the street to through traffic or blocking driveways. Once the display’s schedule is set, details on dates and times will be posted at auburnlights.com

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