Firehouse Creates Dazzling Light Display
A Bright Shining Light:
Firehouse creates dazzling light display
GENEVIEVE REILLY firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Launched:12/08/2006 10:09:05 PM EST
TRUMBULL, CT — They could have gone with a few simple wreaths. Maybe a string of colored lights here and there.
But volunteers at the Long Hill Fire Department had a much brighter idea for celebrating the holidays, bedecking Fire Station 3 at 4229 Madison Ave. with a dazzling light display that even out-megawatts Chevy Chase in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
The firefighters highlighted the entire firehouse with the holiday bulbs, and the decor extends to one of their trucks.
If that weren't enough, when visitors pull up to enjoy the eye-popping display, they can tune their vehicle's radio to 101.5 on the FM dial to hear music synchronized to the animated light show.
All told, there are about 18,000 lights on the firehouse and another 1,250 on the firetruck.
"That's really something to see when they get that started," firehouse neighbor Anna Maniscalco said of the lighting extravaganza. Maniscalco said she gives the volunteers credit for all the work that goes into the display. "I don't need to put any lights up here," she said with a laugh. And giving directions to her house isn't a problem once the lights go up.
"We started doing this about 10 years ago," Alex Rauso, assistant Long Hill fire chief, said, "when I was a captain." Rauso's early efforts have exploded into a display that not only lights up the night, but also helps draw attention to the fire company's annual toy drive benefiting the Trumbull Social Services Department.
"It takes about two weeks to do the house and another week to decorate the truck," Rauso said. The display lights up daily at 6 p.m. and runs until midnight through Christmas. Rauso said the first lights were purchased with about $100 from the fire district and donations from the volunteers.
"We've built it up each year," he said. This year, GE donated lights to the fire company. "It's a lot of work," Jay Leos said, "but it's all worthwhile and a lot of fun."
The volunteers have also added another fundraising twist to the holidays.
Trumbull residents can have Santa deliver a gift to their home via the decorated firetruck for a $40 donation to the department. Participants provide the wrapped gift to be delivered.
The highlight of the holiday season, though, is Long Hill's Fill A Fire Truck event today from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Station 3. The firefighters will collect new, unwrapped toys that will be given to Social Services.
Santa will be on hand with beverages and treats available. There will also be a raffle with a Gearbox Volunteer Fire Department pedal car delivered to the winner's home by Santa on the firetruck as the grand prize.
"It's a little chaotic leading up to this week," Leos said, "but it's a blast."
For more information about the firehouse lighting display, the toy drive or scheduling a toy delivery, visit www.longhillfd.com .
Genevieve Reilly, who covers Trumbull, can be reached at 330-6256.
Watch a YouTube video of the Light Show HERE
Watch a quick YouTube video of the Truck passing HERE