Display of homes inspire holiday spirit

By Hyung Seok LEE

CV Weekly Intern

The Crescenta Valley certainly doesn’t suffer a lack of holiday spirit as is evident with the many light displays throughout the area. However, among all the houses in the Crescenta Valley, one house stands out.

Walking by 3500 Santa Carlotta Ave., the Richards family home features a spectacular light show. Every day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, the display bursts to life from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. with light, music and even a water feature that are all coordinated. Rainy weather doesn’t cancel the display as everything is waterproof.

This is the third year of the Richards’ show, and each year is more elaborate than the last. This year a touch-screen music player was installed in front of the house. This device allows visitors to choose a song which, when played, will have an accompanying light show. There are 15 songs from which to choose.

Through November, the Richards family prepares the lights, music, and fountains. Nearly everything at the house is hand-made including the lights in the fountain and a miniature train that travels around the yard.

William Richards runs the show every night. He is 17 years old and a junior at Crescenta Valley High School. He is part of the school’s stage crew and worked on every musical production since becoming a student.

Richards is in charge of programming the house display each year. It takes three hours to program just one minute of music and lights. He hopes to become a firefighter, and sees the light show as a hobby.

“All I can say is, I am very proud of my son. He has tremendous talent,” said Jim Richards, Will’s father.

Visitors stand on the sidewalk in front of the home, watching in awe as shooting stars pass across the roof, water shoots out of the fountain, and the train circles the front yard. Children can be heard begging their parents for just one more song while viewers are offered free hot chocolate, tea, or candy canes.

“I think this is an awesome service to the community,” said one guest. “[The Richards] do this because they want to and that just shows their love and dedication to our community.”

Below are additional homes are showcased that have gone all out for the holiday season.

Photos by Robin Goldsworthy and Charly Shelton