You don’t have to travel far to find a good light display in Bucks County this holiday season. Even just in driving around any neighborhood in any direction, you’re guaranteed to stumble upon something worth stopping for.
But some people go the extra mile. Whether that’s programming a light show or covering every inch of property with characters from Christmas movies and LED lights.
At the Lower Bucks Times, we wanted to recognize one home from each neighborhood in our coverage area for bringing a little extra holiday cheer to their friends, neighbors and passerbys.
2107 Wilson Avenue, Bristol Borough
It’s Lou and Stephanie Caputa’s second year in their house on Wilson Avenue in Bristol Borough, and this year’s display is even bigger than the least.
“Everywhere I lived, I decorated,” said Lou, the mastermind behind the yard full of light-up, inflatable cartoon characters, animals and more.
“Even if it was just a little balcony in an apartment, I’d fill it up.”
One personal touch is the three large blow-up dogs. Each one is named after the Caputos’ own pets: Callen, a German shephard/St. Bernard mix, and their two bullies, Charlie and Maddie.
The house is lit up every night. For special occasions, like a visit from Santa, the Caputos set up Bluetooth speakers to play music.
“Everybody loves it,” said Lou, proudly. “Kids come by, they all love it.”
721 Autumn Drive, Feasterville
Stan and Rose Durkalec have been putting on their light show for the past three years, tuned to some of their favorite Christmas songs, including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Nutrocker.”
Stan said the programming takes longer than setting up the lights, and requires some planning to get it all right.
“It’s a big time investment,” he said. “You can’t just sit down and do it one month.”
It’s not as extravagant as some other displays. There’s no blowups or figurines, except for the Santa Claus encouraging you to dial in the proper radio station to get the music that syncs with the lights.
But the colorful lights dance around the house, the trees and archways rapidly.
“We really just wanted to do it for our community and our neighbors,” Durkalec said. “It’s definitely something that brings families together.”
155 Colonial Drive, Langhorne
Just a short drive down Brownsville Road will take you to Mark Harnishfeger’s light show, built from 14,000 pixels and 3,000 lights.
The pixels cause the house to change colors, moving in a sequence and synchronized with music.
Harnishfeger said he was inspired to go all out with his light show by his neighbor, who does a more traditional display with blowups, figurines and lights all over the lawn.
“I moved here about 16 years ago, and he’s always had the biggest display,” he said. “He has a totally different kind of show.”
For this show, people park outside and watch the colors explode through the sequence, their radios tuned to a channel programmed by Harnishfeger.
There are patterns, images and even a video of Santa Claus on one of the house’s windows.
“I love having people come by. The more, the merrier,” he said. “Hopefully, the traffic isn’t too much.”
Harnishfeger also raises money for the Parkinson Alliance. Visitors can contribute to a box posted outside of the property.
1200 William Penn Drive, Bensalem
Rebecca Armbruster spent years cultivating a collection of Christmas figurines for her lawn to celebrate the holiday, which is actually her birthday, too.
“It takes us a day just to get everything from storage to the lawn,” said her husband, Stan Wodotinski.
There are animals, like a frog, a cow and a giraffe; Rudolph and characters from The Island of Misfit Toys; the Peanuts comics characters; Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar and others from Sesame Street; and more. People come from all over the township to revel at the display, and some of the kids who come every year can even tell minor differences from previous years.
“When I see the kids smile, I have to keep doing it,” Armbruster said.
But of all the lights and figurines that decorate the sprawling Bensalem lawn, Armbruster’s favorite is the orange ribbon on the tree house to remember a friend of her children who died from leukemia at 8 years old.
“That stays up year round,” she said. “But we light it at Christmas time.”
1215 Grenoble Road, Warminster
Just outside of Northampton and Ivyland, Ken Schafer created his own winter wonderland.
The 10-acre property includes a road that leads to a circular driveway in front of the house, where Schafer invites anyone to circle around to get a thorough view of his display. It took him and another worker about 130 hours to complete in total, with about 50 animated ornaments, 35 blowups and a large-scale Nativity scene at the center.
“The previous owner did it every year,” Schafer said, acknowledging that this is his first Christmas as the new property owner. “When I bought the house, he left me all the lights.”
“My goal was to beat him,” he joked.
On some nights, Schafer may wander out to meet guests in a Santa Claus costume with his Great Pyrenees by his side. The dog, huge and fluffy white, resembles a polar bear with a red scarf around its neck.
He might even have candy canes to give to the passengers of the 20 to 30 cars that circle his driveway every night.
There are a few residences just outside of our coverage area in Levittown that went all out this year. Here’s the short list:
257 Elderberry Drive, Levittown
5 Franklin Street, Levittown
56 Stonybrook Drive, Levittown
1 White Spruce Lane, Levittown