Here are some links to news stories about our display
The Rhode Show 2010
Channel 6 news:
Channel 12 news:
2009 Lite 105 FM Interview
And here is the Providence Journal story that ran on the front page in 2008:
Holiday bright: 14,000 lights and a year to create
01:00 AM EST on Thursday, December 11, 2008
By Barbara Polichetti
Journal Staff Writer
WARWICK — “I really want my house to be seen from space,” a Christmas-crazed Danny DeVito chortles in the 2006 holiday movie Deck The Halls as he uses millions of colored lights, music and special effects to transform his suburban home into a dizzying display.
Frank Picozzi can relate.
After discovering an Internet site that introduced him to computer technology that can synchronize lights and music, Picozzi spent the past seven months designing a holiday extravaganza that has changed his modest ranch-style home into a blaze of Christmas jubilation.
“I think you can see my house from outer space,” says Picozzi, who has included the DeVito quote in the 55-minute soundtrack that accompanies the visual portion of his display.
The house and front yard at 75 Gristmill Rd. are bedecked with more than 14,000 lights, glowing molded-plastic figurines and electric candy canes. There are arches of lights that Picozzi hand-wound while watching the Red Sox over the summer and a 12-foot Christmas tree made up of strands of oversize bulbs.
There are colored lights. There are white lights. There are dangling icicle lights. They frame the entire house, including the eaves, doors andwindows. And everything flashes, flickers, fades on, fades off, swirls and twirls to the beat of Picozzi’s medley of 16 Christmas songs.
The result is a veritable ballet of light, all choreographed by Picozzi, a contractor and former School Committee chairman, who says he is usually not creative.
PICOZZI’S INTEREST was piqued in the spring when he stumbled on the “Planet Christmas” Web site (planetchristmas.com/), which introduced him to technology that allows those with a lot of patience to synchronize light displays with music soundtracks.
Picozzi was game to give it a try. He said he had no trouble convincing his wife, Kim, that it was a great idea because the couple has long decorated to the hilt for Christmas and most other holidays.
They used to say it was for their two daughters, but now that the girls are grown the Picozzis say it’s for their grandson. When pressed, they admit that they themselves are true aficionados and holiday-decorating junkies.
“We like things bright with lots of colors,” Picozzi said with a laugh. “I don’t know if you’d exactly call it tasteful.”
Last year Picozzi’s front yard Christmas diorama included five huge, lit-up inflatables — including Snoopy on his doghouse and a 16-foot train.
Still, this year was such a major undertaking that Picozzi won’t discuss the cost, saying he doesn’t want Kim to know for sure (even though she probably has some idea, since she gladly gave the go-ahead for some of the more expensive things that needed to be done).
FIRST OF ALL, the couple had to upgrade the entire electric service to the house, bringing it to 200 amps. Then there was the matter of circuit breakers, designated panels, outdoor speakers, a new laptop computer just for the display and, of course, the lights.
Picozzi estimates that he has between 14,000 and 15,000 lights, which he can control in groups and sequences with timing as precise as 0.05 of a second. That kind of technology lets him make the plastic figures flicker in time with piano notes, and the outline of the house explode with colored lights and then white lights, right on cue, when there is a crescendo.
The results may be spectacular, but the planning meant months of meticulously plotting sound and light as nothing more than dots on dozens of electronic grids stored on Picozzi’s computer. He also spent the summer building models in his backyard and his garage to see if the music and lights really complemented each other.
He let his family help pick the music, which ranges from Brenda Lee and Mariah Carey to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Picozzi has also interspersed audio clips from his favorite Christmas movies, including the famous “You’ll shoot your eye out” quote for the beleaguered little boy who wants a Red Ryder BB gun in the film A Christmas Story.
Picozzi flipped the switch on the display Thanksgiving night and has been winning rave reviews from his family, city officials, passersby and his neighbors. Kathy Kelley lives across the street from the Picozzis, and says that aside from feeling a little “under-decorated” with her own modest display of red and white lights, she loves what her neighbor has created.
Kelley said that Picozzi let everyone know what he was doing, and that he limits how long it runs each night to make sure no one is disturbed.
“It’s so nice –– I don’t even have to get cold to see it,” she said. “I just look out my front window.”
“Am I crazy?” Picozzi asked, rhetorically. “I might be, but crazy people seem to have more fun in this world.”What’s this?
•Bulbs: Nearly 15,000
•Songs programmed: 16, with a total show time of 55 minutes.
•Hours of operation: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weeknights; 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. No shows when it is raining.
•Address: 75 Gristmill Rd.
•Electricity cost: The Picozzis expect to pay an additional $150 to $200 per month.
•Emotional satisfaction: Priceless.