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Linburg Lights back for a sixth year

Jessica Schladebeck
505-5438/@JessDispatch

Caleb Linburg and his lights have become a holiday tradition for York-area families.

Caleb Linburg flipped the switch on Black Friday for his "Linburg Lights" interactive holiday display at 1195 Hambiltonian Way .

For six years now, the recent graduate of Central York High School has been stringing lights and programming musical, light-up spectaculars for those who drive by his home at 1195 Hambiltonian Way in Manchester Township.

"It's pretty cool," the 17-year-old said in regard to the ever-growing popularity of his light show, aptly titled Linburg Lights. "This year I got a ton of messages asking when it was going to be starting and things like that. We have a lot of people sharing our Facebook posts and a whole bunch of people coming out."

Linburg Lights kicked off last week on Black Friday and is scheduled to run from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1.

This year's show, which boasts more than 30,000 blinking lights that offer millions of color combinations, is bigger and better than ever, Caleb said.

Caleb this year has put up an additional 2,000-plus lights to his home's windows and gutters and has for the first time incorporated a snow machine into the show's technology.

Interactive: Caleb last year debuted an app that allowed passers-by to vote on which song they would like to see next.

Viewers can download the "Linburg Lights" app for their phones from the Apple Store or visit the vote tab on the Linburg Lights website to cast their votes for one of 10 songs, which include Christmas classics like "The Little Drummer Boy," "The Carol of the Bells" and "Joy to the World." There are also flyers available on-location for those who need further instruction in participating.

The app "has been really popular, people like being able to pick the song and working with the lights," Caleb said. "We've had a lot of downloads."

Once viewers roll up to the house all they have to to do is tune into 87.9 FM to hear their selections.

New to the app this year is the user's ability to cue snowfall from the newly added snow machine, giving the show a little something extra, Caleb said.

The app additionally has updates, schedules and other information about the light show.

Giving back:  For the past several years there has been a collection box set up at the end of the Linburg driveway.

All funds at the show's end in January will be donated to Human Life Services, a crisis pregnancy center located at 742 S. George St. in York City.

"We started taking donations a couple years ago for Human Life Services in York," Caleb said.  "We've always been involved with them and they were just a perfect fit for us."

The center offers free ultrasounds, counseling, parenting classes and offers supplies for families in need.

Six years: After going to a light show near his neighborhood when he was younger, Caleb said he had been inspired to try it out on his own.

"Once I figured out how it could be done, that it was something that I could do, I decided to give it a try," Caleb said.

His first light show "was really small, we barely had any lights," Caleb said. "We only had a few panels but we just kept expanding and adding more and more."

In its inaugural year, only a handful of cars passed by to experience the light show. But now, Caleb said he expects lines of up to 10 cars, or some 200 people on busier nights.

Caleb begins stringing lights in October to be ready for his annual Black Friday kick-off and spends more than 500 hours preparing for the show. Programming the lights so they light up in rhythm with a particular song takes up most of his prep time; it could take over an hour to sequence just one minute of a given Christmas carol.

As far as next year's show, Caleb said he doesn't have any specific plans yet, but he knows he wants to make it bigger.

"I know I want to keep it going," he said. "My plan is to just keep it growing and improving it every year."

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.