Rossford Christmas display raises funds for churchWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting up a musical Christmas light display is time-consuming, but occasionally a moment arises to remind Robert Densic why he started his show seven years ago.
“This guy showed up last year, and he had been showing up with his wife for years since we started this,” Densic said. “He was in his mid-80s and his wife had just passed away a week before the lights came on. He said, ‘She was so looking forward to coming and seeing what you were doing this year. I just had to bring her.’ He had her in her urn. That’s when you know all the time, effort and standing out in the freezing rain, snow and cold is worth it.”
Densic upgraded this year’s display, called “The Ageless Childs’ Christmas,” from 55,000 to 66,000 lights connected with nearly three miles of extension cord. At full tilt, the display draws 135 amps of power.
“When everything goes bright outside, everything goes dim inside,” Densic said. “We have a 200-amp service. If we’re pulling 135 amps out here, it doesn’t leave us much inside. If we’re cooking dinner, our lights will dim. I don’t have much of a problem.”
The neighbors have also come to expect the display.
“They enjoy it as well,” Densic said. “One neighbor next door and another across the street insisted we start using their yard. They are all very supportive and come out to help.”
The lights are managed with 23 control boxes, each of which controls 16 different elements in the show. Everything is connected with computer wiring and runs off a computer in the house. With such a complex system, the process of setting up the show starts long before the holiday season.
“The whole family is involved in the setup,” Densic said. “My wife and I start in early October. I program year-round. The setup and programming are separate aspects. My family, her family and friends come out and help. My mother, niece and nephew were here constantly helping every weekend for a month. We need that. Our neighbors help us set up. It took us just shy of seven weeks to set this all up.”
The idea for the display came to Densic and his wife seven years ago.
“There was a video that started flying around the Internet of a house in southern Ohio done to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” Densic said. “Everybody saw the house and thought it was amazing. I saw the video and thought, ‘Wow. I have to do that.’ I still had dial-up, so it took about two hours to download the video. I called my wife, and she said we had to do it. We thought it was a great way to celebrate Christmas.”
This year’s show includes seven songs from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Densic, a Toledo Free Press political columnist, was enthusiastic about decorating for Christmas even before starting the light show. He decorated outside with 17,000 icicle lights, which used more power than his new display.
“I almost tripled the number of lights but went down in electrical costs,” Densic said. “That’s the first question we get from people, is what is our electric bill like. Honestly, it’s not that bad. At any given point in time, they are not all on, compared to a display where you just have timers with everything on. I keep arguing that as a cost-saving measure, I should put more lights and more controllers in the show, because obviously we’re saving money.”
Densic isn’t just saving money, he’s raising it by accepting donations. Since Cedar Creek Church had to cancel its light show, Densic and other members are raising money for the church.
The lights are on display from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Hours will be extended until midnight on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Densic’s home is located at 107 Birch Drive in Rossford. Visit the web site TheAgelessChildsChristmas.com for directions and more information.