On a winding country road, four miles from the nearest traffic light in rural Dutchess County, N.Y., the holiday lights appear like a carnival fun house shattering the darkness.
Every year, roughly 60,000 visitors stream into Union Vale, dwarfing the population of the town of 4,600, their cars crawling up the wooded, unlit roads to take a slow tour around the circular driveway of Timothy and Grace Gay, the Guinness World Records holders for the most lights on a residential property.
This year, 720,420 lights created the vibrating, pulsating cacophony, set to a soundtrack that plays over a local radio frequency, the colors changing with each of the 255 programmed songs. Giant globes, hearts, shooting stars and rainbows suspend over a pond, the reflection giving the illusion that thishomespun creation is descending into the earth. If lights could speak, they would shout out the block letter words of one sign: “Top That.”
“It’s amazing, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Lauren Bellantoni, 37, as her car inched through the loop, an unending line behind her.
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