RADHICA DE SILVA
Despite the threat of COVID, there is a spectacular light show on display at Ben Lomond, Gasparillo that is drawing dozens of parents and children to line the streets.
Every night spectators stand socially distanced at Marcus Street in front of a house owned by Ferose Ali.
At 7 pm, the house bursts into life, in scenes reminiscent of Disney as the musical light show begins. Lighted Christmas trees set up near the windows give the illusion of singing, while people become mesmerized. The house floods with a burst of colours.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Ali said he wanted to bring joy to people at a time when the gloom of COVID -19 had thrown many into despair and depression. He said his house has been decorated with over 500,000 lights. It took him two months to organize the show, noting that on December 19, he planned to do a Disney themed light show showcasing all of Disney’s favourite songs.
The show will always be free and Ali said it’s a labour of love that he has been doing for the past 25 years.
“We are here to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This year we decided to do a musical light show. When you come here you can tune your radio to 88.1 FM and you will hear the music from your car,” he said.
This year because of COVID, additional precautions have been taken.
“You can walk to the gate and see the Christmas Village. Due to COVID, we are keeping the gates closed. Keep your mask on and gather in a few numbers. Be cautious because of COVID,” he warned.
Ali said they chose to do the light show because they wanted to spread hope.
“We have been doing this for 25 years. There are sentimental pieces here. Every year we have this show on for the viewing public. You can come for a wonderful evening. We see the joy in children’s and adults face,” Ali said.
He said about 500,000 lights have been used but on December 19, he planned to showcase a Disney-themed light show so even more lights will be added.
Ali said it was important to send a message of hope.
“In this time of trials, we must have hope. We trust in medicine, yes but it is important to bring joy to people’s lives. There is a family who comes here every night and they sit down without and enjoy watching these lights,” he said.
Among the spectators were Alex Jones and his daughter Ariya.
“This is amazing. This year, they have added new features to the house and it is wonderful. I recommend that people come down and enjoy the show,” Jones said.