Bruce Raggi and his Farmington neighbors are at it again, in a big way
FARMINGTON — Most times, the arrival of Santa Claus is the star atop the tree come Christmastime.
In the Buckskin Drive neighborhood off Mertensia Road in Farmington, the big man’s arrival — he is scheduled to make appearances Friday night and Saturday — is only part of the show.
Yes, Bruce Raggi and his neighbors have done it again, bringing a holiday shine that lights up the sky — and on some nights, halts traffic as festive motorists queue up to see the show.
This year, 27 homes — up from 22 homes a year ago — are participating in Raggi’s holiday light show.
That works out to anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 lights, he estimated. Not bad for a guy who earlier in the year had not one but both knees replaced.
“I didn’t get up all I wanted,” Raggi said.
A transmitter is used to synch up the lights and music, which is why motorists are asked to turn their radio to 91.1 FM. Of course, many forget or don’t see the sign alerting them about how this works.
But that’s easily understandable, once you turn the corner into the neighborhood.
“I think they’re too busy looking everywhere else,” Raggi said.
And they see lights of all colors, holiday characters of all sizes and if you time it right, you just might catch a glimpse of a certain jolly old elf in an upstairs window.
The show started Thanksgiving night and continues through Dec. 31. Prep work started the day after Halloween, as usual, Raggi said.
Also as usual, Raggi may be having the most fun of all.
“When you see the first cars come by, and the kids oohing and ahhing when they see Santa Claus in the window — that makes it all worth it,” Raggi said.
Again this year, visitors are asked to chip in for charity.
This year, the light show is supporting the John F. Russo Jr. Memorial Foundation.
The foundation's mission is to help those who are battling leukemia and other illness as well as to help promote educational careers of scholar athletes with strong character who possess the same zest for life that the 32-year-old Geneva man had. He died of leukemia in 2013.
Besides the joy of helping a worthwhile cause and seeing one of the best holiday lights displays around, visitors also just may be able to enjoy a candy cane.
So far, 35 cases of candy canes — 360 canes per case — have been handed out, he said.
And many more will be had this weekend — the last before the big holiday — and throughout Christmas week until everyone puts Christmas behind them and rings in the new year.
And then it all comes down.
“It’s kind of a sad day,” Raggi said. “It’s over. But then I start sketching new designs for what I want to build next year.”