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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Geneseo man creates special Halloween light show

  • Carl Johnson of Geneseo has been thinking about Halloween for months, and the end result is a front yard that's transformed nightly into a musical holiday light show.
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  • Carl Johnson of Geneseo has been thinking about Halloween for months, and the end result is a front yard that's transformed nightly into a musical holiday light show.
    "It all came about after watching You Tube videos and seeing these big light shows people put on for Christmas and Halloween," said Johnson.
    "I was curious about the companies that make products (for the light shows), so I got online and started researching," he said.
    His research lead him to an online forum of fellow holiday light and music show enthusiasts.
    After chatting with members of the forum, Johnson decided to attempt his own Halloween show.
    "I'm a fan of Halloween. We enjoy going to haunted houses every year, and we've done a bit of decorating in the past," said Johnson.
    For 2012, Johnson decided to purchase a kit to help create a light-and-music show.
    "I ordered one kit and set it up and it worked perfectly ... then I thought, one kit isn't going to be enough," he said, adding he then purchased a second kit.
    "Setting the decorations up outside probably took 10 to 12 hours. The biggest time consuming part was programming the show," said Johnson.
    "I was learning as I went along. Electronics don't bother me, I'm familiar with electronics, but I'm not a programmer," he said.
    Johnson started his programming work in March. His goal was to program the lights so they coordinated with the music.
    During a portion of the show, pumpkins "sing along" with the music.
    "The talking faces were the hardest to get synchronized," said Johnson.
    The show features 10 different Halloween songs, and Johnson started programming the performance last June.
    "The show isn't anything really scary. It's more just for fun. It features classic Halloween songs with animation of the lights to the music," he said.
    Johnson and his wife, Brenda, invite area residents to watch the show nightly in front of their home, 533 E. Park St., in Geneseo.
    The approximately 27-minute show runs continuously from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting.
    The show will continue through the first weekend in November.
    Spectators can listen to music that accompanies the show by tuning their car radio to 104.1 FM.
    "It's not a real strong signal, but if you're sitting in a car in front of the house, you can hear it," explained Johnson.
    "People can come and go as they like. Some stop and watch the whole thing, some just stop and watch two or three songs," he said. "The biggest thing is getting the word out about the show. As more and more people learn about it, we have a steady stream of cars coming by."
    Page 2 of 2 - Johnson's also started thinking about future holiday shows.
    "I'd like to continue to do this. I have a whole list of things in my head that I want to try down the line," he said.
    For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ParkStreetHalloweenLightShow.

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