Lights on Cherry Street wrapping up another holiday season


New Carlisle’s version of the Griswolds, John Higgins and Aleea Perry have been putting on a spectacular light show at the corner of Cherry and Chestnut Street since 2012.

Drawing inspiration from past displays like Charlie Finley’s in LaPorte and the Surma house in Rolling Prairie, Aleea always wanted a Christmas light display that people would drive to see.

“Challenge accepted,” John said.

Now cars line up every night to see their creation, which takes John about 20 hours per song to sequence the lights to the music.

The show consists of roughly 10,000 pixels (individual control, infinite color LEDs) and RGB LEDs (which are capable of any color, but controlled as strings.)

They also have ten arches, three mega trees, 12 smaller trees, 13 uplights, four P-10 matrices, 18 RGB snowflakes, eight RGB window frames, and of course, one leg lamp (a replica from the movie “A Christmas Story.”)

Set-up typically takes a week, while tear down takes about a day. John and Aleea have had help from many family and friends over the years, including Pam Gray. Mike Balanow with Metro Construction has loaned equipment for setting up the lights.

“Clark” and “Ellen” do not accept any donations for the project, as they do it out of love for the town. They encourage anyone who feels the need to express their gratitude to shop and dine locally in New Carlisle or donate to one of our town’s many charitable and non-profit institutions.

If you haven’t seen the show this year, there’s still time to check it out. It will stay up through the weekend. The show runs from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. Be sure to tune your car radio to 88.3 FM to hear the music synced to the lights.

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