WILTON — An animated Christmas light display, The Wilton Lights, which has entertained viewers nightly since early December, will change the accompanying holiday music slightly starting New Year’s Eve.

Dance music seemed more appropriate for New Year’s, said homeowner Kim Hilton, who with her husband, Phil, have turned their plentiful Christmas decorations at 1228 Main St. into an animated show complete with music.

They are dropping four holiday songs from the program and adding four tunes like Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” and Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got a Feeling.”

Why?

“Because we think seeing Christmas lights dancing to non-Christmas music is amusing and with all we have invested in the setup, we want to use if for all we can before tearing it down,” wrote the Hiltons on their Web site, www.wiltonlights.com

The new music will be added for the shows on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 3 and 5 from 5 to 10 p.m., Kim said. Traditional Christmas music will return for the final show of the season on Jan. 6.

 An IT consultant running InterFix Communications, Phil came up with the computer software to make the present 17,128 lights flash on and off to the beat of the music.

“He’s quite musical and I like Christmas,” she said of the Christmas decorations that became animated for the first time this year.

With Christmas over, they didn’t waste any time adding to the collection for next year. Another 10,000 lights were purchased this week at sales.

They want to build in some new lights and designs for next year, she said. These will add to the six-foot Bethlehem star that sits atop their house, across from the former Backus Garage in East Wilton. A line of lighted trees, Snoopy and Peanut wooden figures, eave and shrub lights, and a large lighted wreath on the garage flash to the musical tunes.

“If all the lights came on at once, it would take 60 amps of power but mostly they are not all on at the same time,” she said.

There’s a little extra cost in running them, she added.

The response from the public has been amazing.

“We’ve had up to 30 cars at a time and sometimes as few as three or four,” she said, park and watch the display. “People we don’t know but seem to know who we are . . . stop us in the stores to tell us how much they enjoy the show and ask about chipping in toward the electric bill.”

The couple designed the light show because it’s something they love doing, she said.

“We’d rather they gave something to make people who are needy happy,” she added.

The couple began accepting donations for the Wilton Food Pantry and as of Dec. 29 a total of $884 had been donated by viewers at their home or those on their Web site.

With the help of the Good-Shepherd Food Bank, those dollars can purchase 5,525 pounds of food for the local bank, which serves people in Wilton, Weld, North Jay and East Dixfield, according to their Web site.

The couple started putting up the display during the good weather in early November and worked a lot of weekends on it, she said. A radio transmitter set to 96.9 FM broadcasts their musical selections basically in front of their house without requiring licensing.

They do ask viewers to be mindful of an apartment tenant who lives over the former garage. High volume radios and car lights can be difficult for their neighbor.

Growing up in southern Maine, she watched reports on other people across the country with similar light displays but not all animated. With some research, her husband found out how to set it up and it became their gift to the community, she said.

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The Wilton Lights, an animated light display at the home of Phil and Kim Hilton at 1228 Main St. in Wilton, has entertained viewers all month. Broadcast music will change slightly
for the shows Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 3 and 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. The
traditional Christmas music will return the evening of Jan. 6, which
will conclude the display for the season.  

It’s only holiday decorations in front of Phil and Kim Hilton’s Wilton home during the day, but at night it becomes Wilton Lights, an animated Christmas light display that has entertained viewers throughout December. Broadcast music for the show will change slightly for the shows Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 3 and 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. The traditional Christmas music will return the evening of Jan. 6, which will conclude the display for the season.

 

It’s only holiday decorations in front of Phil and Kim Hilton’s
Wilton home during the day, but at night it becomes Wilton Lights, an
animated Christmas light display that has entertained viewers
throughout December. Broadcast music will change slightly
for the shows Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 3 and 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. Traditional Christmas music will return for the final show of the season Jan. 6.


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