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Idaho Enterprise

Christmas Light Show!

Christmas time is here and there are new and exciting things to help you celebrate the season, namely the Christmas Light Show at the Malad City Park.  The light show is nothing short of festive fun for everyone to enjoy.

         Brad and Melanie Coleman are to be thanked for Malad’s newest Christmas adventure.  After seeing a similar light show last year that they thoroughly enjoyed, they bravely said, “We should do this!” and the dream of a Christmas light show in Malad began.  With his love for both building things and IT, it was the perfect project for Brad and his family.

         The family knew it would take a lot of time to have this project ready for Christmas and began researching and learning the ins and outs of the show earlier this year.  They were unsure how long it would take to order and receive all the pieces to their set due to the shipping challenges from the last few years.  With a little knowledge in hand and their sets on site, they began playing around sequencing just one song and a small part of their set.  After just one trial, they were hooked and sure they would have something special for Christmas this season.

         Wanting this to be a fun experience for everyone in the community, the Coleman’s asked Mayor Hawkins and Councilman Tripp, who is over the park, if the city park could host the light show.  It would be an ideal location with plenty of space to set up and where families could park their vehicles to enjoy the music and lights of the show.  They shared a small demonstration of what they could do and were granted the use of the park.

         The Coleman’s enjoyed a lot of Christmas throughout the summer as they listened to various songs to put in the lineup.  Melanie shared, “We tried to pick all different kinds of songs- some slower, some fun and lively, and some traditional.”  As they selected their music they would begin sequencing the lights actions for each song, something that took some time to do.

As the fall months moved along, it gave them new opportunities to run a variety of different light shows to be sure that they could pull off such a large scale presentation.  They first began by putting up a light display in the Co-op windows as a trial run for the matrixes.  They displayed the video of the Drive-In from the 1950s and in addition to playing the Munsters during Halloween.  

Many trick or treaters might have enjoyed the light show the Colemans displayed at their home over Halloween. “We put together a small display at our house sequenced to "The Addams Family" and "Spooky Scary Skeletons" to entertain the trick or treaters,” Melanie said.   “This helped to make sure we could get all of the pieces working together at the same time.”

With their songs selected, a plan in mind and good handle on the how-to, the Coleman’s were ready to assemble what they would need for the Christmas Light Show.  Santa had nothing on the Coleman family as they home turned into a Christmas workshop.  Melanie shared, “Our house became a light show construction zone the month of November while all the different pieces were finished.”

It finally came time to assemble the set in the park and they immediately ran into some challenges as they began putting up the largest, center tree.  Melanie said, “It's the tallest, has a star the others don't, and holds all of the system that runs the rest of the trees.  When we tried to hoist the tree up, the supporting pole bent... and not just a little. It was a really rough way to start the process.”

Determined to find a solution, the Colemans found some help to immediately come in and help save the day.  It was no small feat to get that first tree standing.  The process entailed adding extra guy wires and then having all the men put tension on the pipe from all sides as it was hoisted to a standing position.  Finally they would pick up the top piece and add extension poles one at a time to finish erecting the tree.  “The plan was for the tallest tree to be 27 ft, but in the end it's closer to 24 ft because we couldn't get the last extension pipe in without everything bending again,” explained Melanie.  “We want to give a huge shout out to JP and Justin Wittman, Carson Hunt and Ashton Parker for coming at a moment's notice and helping us.”

Once everything else was put into place, Brad did his “IT magic” to get all the sets and displays talking to each other.  Friday night at 11 pm, they enjoyed their first run of the show, having everything in place.  The final piece came Saturday as they brought in the matrixes that display the singing mouths.  “We'd like to thank Justin Wittman and Daxton Davis for coming to help move it because it is HEAVY!!” shared Melanie.

With the set up complete, the show was ready for its debut following the Malad Fireman Parade of lights and fireworks.  Saturday evening, the first viewers enjoyed the light show consisting of 12 songs played over 30 minutes, including favorites like “Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Oh Holy Night,” “White Christmas,” and a Snowman Melody.  The music can easily be listened to on radio station 91.1 FM to enjoy the show in all its glory.  Each song has its own unique light sequencing, making every moment truly exciting.

With such a great treat at home in Malad, viewers should be reminded to do their part to keep the show running at its finest.  Please remember to shut off all vehicle lights when viewing the show.  Also, please be respectful of the displays that have been set up by not playing in the park in that area or doing anything that might disrupt the display.  Melanie said, “Our whole purpose was to spread a little extra Christmas cheer with the town we love so much!”

In fact, the Colemans hope that this show is something that will continue to give and grow for years to come. “Our hope is that the light show can be something fun for everyone in the valley to enjoy for years to come,” shared Melanie.  “Next year we're hoping to get the community more involved. The software to create the sequencing is an open-source software and fairly easy to learn.  We're hoping to get others to pick their own songs and create sequences that could be displayed on special community nights.  More information on this will come out next fall!”

The Christmas Light Show is surely just the treat to kick off the Christmas season this year.  Thank you to the Coleman family and all those that helped make this exciting new Christmas adventure possible for everyone throughout the Malad area. 

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