Whenever Cassie Doble travels down Red Brook Road in Mashpee, her 5-year-old daughter, Sophia, brims with excitement.
“Mummy, we’re almost there! Mummy, we’re almost there!” Ms. Doble said Sophia will shout as they travel down the road after daycare several times a week.
Tuned to 100.9 FM, radio static gives way to Christmas tunes as the car rounds the bend toward 243 Red Brook Road. If Sophia knows the song—such as when music from Disney’s “Frozen” is playing—she will sing along as she stares out the window in anticipation, Ms. Doble said.
Then, out of the darkness of the wintry evenings, more than 10,000 multicolored LED lights come bursting into view, flashing in time to the music from the radio.
“The lights are just beaming over the whole house and yard,” Ms. Doble said.
Decked out in flashing snowflakes and candy canes, a 19-foot-tall Christmas tree, and lights that spell out “Hope,” “Peace” and “Merry Christmas,” the small cottage at 243 Red Brook Road has served as a beacon of light for many locals as an unprecedented holiday season begins.
“It just brightens people’s day,” Gary Guidi, who has decorated his property with the dancing lights for the past three years, said. “With 2020, we definitely need that.”
Mr. Guidi uses a computer program called xLights to synchronize the timing of the lights to music. Then he broadcasts the songs on 100.9 FM as the lights blink along.
With the onset of the pandemic this year, Mr. Guidi retired from his job as an audio and video project manager and has added more than 5,000 new lights to the display. The new lights spell out the words “Hope” and “Peace.”
“Everything is upside down and crazy between the election and COVID,” he said. “We decided to add a couple things like that to it, just to lighten it up a bit.”
When people see the display, Mr. Guidi said he hopes they will “step back, take a break and think some good thoughts for a while.”
On Monday, November 23, Mr. Guidi turned the light show on around 6 PM.
After a warm weekend and a tornado warning earlier in the day, the air was cooling rapidly, hinting at more chilly days to come. The lights winked in and out and changed colors to the rhythm of “Hot Chocolate” and other tunes from “The Polar Express.”
A Mashpee resident of about eight years, Mr. Guidi said he fell in love with the property on Red Brook Road when he was flipping houses in the area. Rather than flip the house, he stayed.
An elaborate light display has long been a dream for Mr. Guidi. He started building his display three years ago when he encountered the xLights program, which he said was easy to use and had an online community of fellow lights enthusiasts to help him get started.
This year, with extra time on his hands due to the pandemic and his recent retirement, Mr. Guidi sunk hundreds of hours of work into the display.
Mr. Guidi said he got the lights up early this year with the help of two landscape companies, S&J Landscaping and P&F Tree and Landscaping Enterprises, who mounted the larger displays for free.
For the first few weeks, Mr. Guidi has been playing rock-and-roll classics such as “We Will Rock You” by Queen on 100.9 FM but will transition to a more steady stream of Christmas and holiday favorites as the season progresses, he said.
So how many individual LED lights does Mr. Guidi’s elaborate display contain?
More than 10,000, he said, though he refused to give an exact figure.
“I’m thinking of having a contest to guess that,” he said.
A Facebook group Mr. Guidi created for the light display called “Mashpee Lights on Red Brook Road” has about 300 members. He posts schedules for when the lights will be on and other updates to the group.