Aaron Leach doesn’t just decorate for the holidays; he combines his deejay talent with lights to create an audio-controlled show every night throughout the Christmas season.
Leach invites everyone to bring the family, and a blanket, to sit in the yard of his Mesa home and watch his lights dance to Disney songs, TV theme songs, Christmas music and music requested by visitors who come to see the show.
“I’m the only (light show) that is audio controlled, and that’s what makes this one different,” he says.
Every night through Jan. 1, Leach brings his home to life with not only the lights and music, but inflatable Christmas characters and a miniature tribute to 9/11. It includes the Twin Towers, standing about 4 feet tall and a plywood fire department and police station.
“I do it to see people happy, to enjoy the holiday and to help with charity. These are hard times, and this gives people more of a chance to do something for free. This has been a family tradition ever since I was little,” says Leach.
Starting in a small town in California, Leach’s father began to decorate their house every year in lights that would twinkle to the tunes of old records and CDs.
Leach’s father had experience in engineering and constructed what Leach calls a “color organ,” which syncs the lights to the music and is entirely audio-controlled.
Once the family moved to Arizona, Leach continued the tradition. He’s been at it for the past six years here in the Valley.
“Friends of (the) family come every year, and people drive by and honk and appreciate that I do it,” says Leach.
The light show runs every night starting at 5:30 p.m., but Leach will begin shutting down early if viewers dwindle, so it is recommended that visitors arrive early.
He encourages people to park and join him in his yard to watch the show.
Admission is free, but Leach encourages visitors to bring any amount of canned food so that he can donate to local charities, including United Food Bank, Phoenix Rescue Mission and St. Vincent de Paul.
If you go
What: Approximately 25,000 lights dance to music played by deejay Aaron Leach in a homemade Christmas light display
When: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. week nights, and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekends through Jan. 1, 2013
Where: 8709 E. University Drive, Mesa
Cost: Free, but non-perishable food donations accepted for the needy
• Nichole, a senior studying journalism at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org