TURN ON THE LIGHTS, TURN UP THE MUSIC
Monday, 23 December 2013 13:57

John Jakubowski’s unusual lights-and-music Christmas display can be found in the 6700 block of Boston Avenue. photo Roland Dorsey

by Ben Boehl

Christmas lights can be found all over Dundalk, but not too many lights come with their own music.
    A duplex on Boston Avenue has a giant tree light display, and motorists are asked to tune into 103.9 FM to hear the accompanying holiday music. The tree lights up in multiple colors.
    The man behind the lights is Graceland Park resident John Jakubowski, who is a computer programmer.
    “I do it to put smiles on people’s faces,” he said.
    Jakubowski told The Eagle he is part of an online forum where individuals from all over the world share software with each other.
    Some of the members are from countries such as Australia and England, he said, but the group has no formal name.
    “We actually have a get-together every year in July in Texas,” Jakubow-ski said.
    “About a 100 of us talk about what is new.”
    Jakubowski said each light on his tree is individually controlled so he can make any bulb whatever color he desires.   
    Jakubowski uses 15,000 channels of lights, but he said that some members of the forum use 25,000 to 30,000 channels for their displays.
    In previous years, the display included a reindeer and a tree atop a 13-foot flag pole. 
    This year’s tree is 30 feet tall to the top of the star.
    “It has grown every year. The movie [National Lampoon’s] Christmas Vacation has given me inspiration,” Jakubowski said about the iconic film that contained a scene with an enormous amount of lights.
    The light show in the 6700 block of Boston Avenue comes with its own music as Jakubowski said he broadcasts a low-watt radio frequency that reaches roughly a one-mile radius.
    Jakubowski said that four songs play on a loop and he tries to change the music every few days.
    “The FCC has no problem as long as [the frequency] doesn’t have any inference with other local transmissions.”
    Jakubowski said he has received a lot of positive feedback from the community.
    Celestine “Babe” Gra-bowski, president of the Graceland Park Improvement Association said the light display is popular.
    “They have been doing that for about five to six years now,” Grabowski said. “It is quite a display.”
    Chuck Kaczorowski of Kaczorowski Funeral Home is a neighbor of Jakubowski and said he watches the work on the project, which usually begins around Thanksgiving.
    “It is a nice display, and it is pretty cool that the lights dance to the music,” Kaczorowski noted.
    According to Jakubow-ski, this is the sixth year of the display; it will run until Jan. 6 or 7.
    He said he turns on his lights after dusk and keeps them on until 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays.
    Despite the popularity of the lights, Jakubowski said that traffic on Boston Avenue has not been significantly disrupted.
    “We have not had any traffic issues. They usually pull over and sometimes kids will get out to look at them. Sometimes we see the same car that drives back and forth,” Jakubowski said with a laugh.

DUNDALK LIGHTS

(from top ) Snowmen enjoy the cold weather at a home on Kirkleigh Road; Candy canes line a path on Moorgate Road; On Carolynn Road, Santa’s reindeer take a break; Santa prefers to travel by hot-air balloon at a home on Carolynn Road; Colorful holiday characters greet onlookers on Boston Avenue; A Nativity Scene is the focal point at a home on Moorgate Road; A Christmas carousel brings holiday cheer to Ormond Road.
photos by Roland Dorsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 MORE DUNDALK LIGHTS

( from top middle) A snowflake-lined path on Dunglow Road; A unique sleigh for Santa on Dunglow Road; Santa watches over Liberty Parkway; Garland decks a house on Cornwall Road; Colored lights brighten a Merritt Boulevard home; A festive display on Chestnut Street; A Nativity Scene graces a home on Eastdale Road; Bright lights on German Hill Road. photos by Michael Rodman