Bright Lights

by Kyle

2004 | The Daily News
5:00AM Thursday January 20, 2005
By Nic Gibson | The Daily News

It’s been a long time between drinks for Kyle (12) and Denis Wadsworth.
The amount of power their annual Christmas lighting display consumes means switching on the jug for a cup of tea before bed is out of the question.

With 16,000 watts of lighting spectacular on their front lawn, including some piped in from the neighbours, the Wadsworths can’t risk extra voltage crashing the $18,000 Oriental St attraction. But they can look forward to a hot cuppa at last.

After seven years of dazzling displays, the light switch will be thrown for the last time tonight, after which Mr. Wadsworth said he’s going to give up his evening brilliance.
“I’ve run out of time to get it done, and I’m running out of ideas.” he said.
“I’ve got someone in Mania who’s keen to take over, but if they don’t sell, we’ll stick them in a box.”

For seven years the arrangement has gone up for four weeks from early December, moving house along with the family.
Obviously a infectious passion, it doesn’t look like Oriental St will be back to streetlights only- the neighbours have caught onto the idea too.
“Over the road they keep adding things (to their display) every week.” Kyle confessed.
“It’s starting to look really good.”

Usually, the lights get turned off in Early January, but Mr. Wadsworth has kept it going for the visiting bowlers in town for the Taranaki Men’s Open Tournament.

He said this season had been good and bad, with less vandalism than before, but the wet weather has wreaked a little too much electrical mayhem.
“Rain and lights defiantly don’t mix.” he said.

And with a typical set-up period of three months, pulling the plug will likely be a load of the local grid and the lightman himself.
“I won’t miss climbing on the roof, it’s steeper than it looks!” Mr. Wadsworth said.
“But yeah, I will miss it next year.”