The Raposo Family's annual Christmas Light Extraordinaire is back in full swing and better than ever with even more lights, more decorations and even a few surprises throughout the month.
With nearly 80,000 lights, the house on Mill Grove Drive lights up the neighborhood, bringing in thousands of Christmas loving spectators from surrounding areas to witness the festive holiday spectacle in Gonzales.
Homeowners Katie and Scott Raposo, along with their three children William, John and Katelyn, began setting up for the long process in early November, a process that required roughly 150 man-hours. With help from neighbors, family and friends, the Raposos' were able to hold their annual opening night as scheduled on Thanksgiving night. The show brought in a record breaking number of over 500 people throughout the course of the three and a half hours the lights were on, Scott said.
"We overwhelm with quantity," the homeowner said. "We don't do multi-color, we will pick one color of something and them do boatloads on it. When it goes off its like wow."
Now in its sixth year, the family is trying something a little different this go around. On Dec. 10 the Raposo children will be holding a bake sale across from their house, benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and on Dec. 17 Santa Claus will be outside the home visiting with children and handing out candy canes to viewers. If all goes well, visits from Santa Claus could become a yearly occurrence, Scott said.
Katie and Scott's children said they look forward to the light show every year and get sad when it's time to take them down in January because they enjoy watching them every night.
"I like visiting with people and watching the lights and dancing to it," Katelyn said.
John said he also enjoys the lights and how they dance all around, but his favorite thing is how they raise money for St. Jude to help kids fighting cancer.
A few years ago the family added a St. Jude donation box to their light display, as a little girl from the neighborhood was battling cancer at the time.
“Someone implanted the idea in my mind that we have all these people coming out let’s just put a box with a little sign to tell people donate if they want to,” Scott said. “We started dong it and people are wonderful. Everyday there's donations and by the end of the season there's a pretty good bit that we give to St. Jude.”
He added that he likes to go out and meet the people who come to see the show, and even meets some of the St. Jude kids as well.
“Every year we always meet a few kids who either are being treated or have been treated by St. Jude, and sometimes we meet parents of children who didn’t make it. It can be pretty emotional out there and overwhelming at times. It's a neat, wonderful thing and we love being a part of it.”
The Raposo Family Christmas Light Extraordinaire can be seen at 13124 Mill Grove Drive, Gonzales through Jan. 2. Sunday through Thursday the lights will shine from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting. To keep up to date with more information about the show, visit their Facebook page at BRChristmasLights.