Everything about the 'kerstlichtshow'
Whereas in the US Christmas light displays are nothing unusual, the are just a few in the Netherlands. That's not really a surprise, as the is a difference in culture and the Americans are even more fond of Christmas. Also, it's an expensice hobby, and the Dutch are a thrifty nation. Fortunately, it is being appreciated more and more in the Netherlands to decorate your house or garden.
In 2009, Henk Visser build his own Christmas light display, being inspired by some American videos he came across on the internet. That first year, media already showed up to film the spectacle. The ED (Eindhovens Dagblad) recorded some footage and took some interviews. This resulted in a total of 850 visitors in 2009.
The next year, the neighbors already knew what was coming. The hobby appeared to be contagious and a lot of neighbors, friends and familymembers showed up to help Henk building his second show. Henk had learned a lot of his first year and with the experiences of his first year and a lot of hands from others, the second show became bigger and more beautiful than the one before. It resulted in a total of 1200 visitors. We also started to collect donations for charity, as people had given Henk some money that he would refuse to accept. It directly got us to deliver a cheque of €425 ($450).
'Expanding' was the keyword of 2011 and with that, some newscompanies showed up again, spreading the word, or in this case the visuals, even more (all videos can be found here). As more people showed up, the mood became better and better and therefor, a sponsor made it possible to give every visitor a glass of Glühwein. About 1700 people enjoyed the show that year, donating €800 ($850).
There were some big improvements in the fourth season. RGB LED pixels were introduced to the show, making it possible to control single lights in the display and give them every color of the rainbow. It was a great succes which was celebrated with a new record number of 2000 visitors and €850 ($900) for our good cause.
The fifth year also became a succes. The amount of visitors raised with 124% to an incredible number of 4483. Also, the mayor if Veldhoven walked by to see what this garden was transformed to. All this could only encourage Henk to go for a sixth year.
And so it happened. Unfortunately, bad weather caused the number of visitors to drop a bit. 3500 people showed up anyway (inclusive the mayor again). The donations for our charity goal was €1000 ($1060).
So what's up for this year? It will all depend on the weather. As long as it stays dry, people will come, altough some snow would also be nice again.
'Vissers kerstlichtshow' started as a challenge against technology. Henks motto was: "I should be able to do that too".
Fortunalely, we get more help from people every year. This is a good thing, because many hands make light work.
Without wanting to short anybody, we want to name a few people who make a big effort to deliver a wonderful show every year:
Een neighbor who stand at Henks door every first of November, as that's a national holiday in Belgium. A logistic diehard, who is also a master in categorise and sort everything nice and tidy when the time comes to break the show down in January.
Father-in-law of Henk, who is willing to offer some free time to make a wonderful show. No talking, but working!
Father-in-law from the other side of the family, who kept connecting caples with cold fingers in bad weather.
The boy next door, who is a fan of the show since day one and can be found between the visitors almost every show to explain the technical side of the show. He also captures and edits the full videos of the show, together with his friend Timon van der Wal, and is the technical brain behind this website.
A neighbor who knows her way in electronics. She can connect the 35,000 lights almost blindfolded. As of this moment, no short-circuit has occured because of her.
In 2012, Niels came by to ask if Henk could use some help. Of course he could, and since then we helps here and there, where ever he is needed. He is very skilled and structural. It just has to be perfect for him. No half work!
A colleage from ASML, who has provided the musicmix ever sice 2010.
Another neighbor who is always prepared to lend some of his tools. He's been Glühwein-waiter for a year, but is also a good help in times 'emergency'.