Blink Midwinter 2011

Blink Midwinter 2011

This was Blink Midwinter’s fourth year. The layout was a little bigger than last year’s, with those oversized lawn lights running up the driveway and across the front. It was wider, too, as we’ve started encroaching on our neighbor’s yard with lights adorning the peach tree on the right in the photo. They’re cool with that. Our neighbors all around the cul-de-sac are ready to join in the reindeer games, so next year it’ll be even more panoramic.

We used 128 channels of Light-O-Rama to control the show, and the power management spreadsheet said there were 23,196 lights. Our old Ramsey FM25B transmitter kept chugging away, broadcasting at 92.7 MHz. We hired a professional voice talent for the announcements this year, and added one new song by TobyMac to the mix.

The playlist:

  • Christmas This Year – TobyMac
  • Jingle Bells – Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
  • Siberian Sleigh Ride – TSO
  • Music Box Dancer – DJ Schwede
  • Joy To The World – Go Fish
  • Power Upgrade/Lucasfilm THX Intro

We had special treats the first three Saturday’s in December as Canine Assistants sent some of their volunteer handlers and dogs in training to visit with guests here for the show. The volunteers and pups were delightful, being loved on by young and young at heart alike, and posing for pictures.

Canine Assistants

The big news this year was our opportunity to blink for Canine Assistants. They raise and train service dogs for people facing unique challenges, such as epilepsy, diabetes and being wheelchair-bound. Add the companionship and unconditional love the dogs give and this is a life changing service. Since there is no charge to the folks receiving these dogs and Canine Assistants provides for their veterinary needs, the organization depends entirely on charitable donations to do this great work.

Through the generosity of Blink Midwinter guests we raised $1100 for Canine Assistants. Thank you! You’re support was amazing! And even better, my employer has a matching gifts program, so altogether we were able to bless CA with $2200!

If you’d like to learn more about Canine Assistants or donate online, please visit their website. There’s also a link on their donation FAQs page where you can see if your employer has a matching gift program.

A big thank you goes out to our graphics and sign shop, Vital Signs, for creating and donating the “We Blink for Canine Assistants” sign.

Notes

It only took four years but we finally started the show on the “proper” date of Thanksgiving Night. It was very gratifying to not be stressed out after that date scrambling to get the show on-line. It was so worth the effort!

I’m over untangling lights if I can avoid it, so here’s a setup tip that helped when taking the display down. I haven’t graduated to using netlights in the shrubs, instead, I use six 100ct strings in each of 8 groups of shrubs. If you just grab a random string at teardown, odds are real good it’ll be woven under strings that were placed after that one. So, at setup this year I decided to map out approximately where the end of each string landed and the order they were placed. Then at teardown simply I reversed the setup order and, viola, no more tangles. Yeah, profound, I know. But every little bit helps when dealing with hundreds of strings. You’re welcome.

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