Saturday, December 14, 2019

Deacon Dave's Christmas display lights up Bay Area with over 640,000 light

For the past 37 years, Deacon Dave's Christmas light display in Livermore has been a beacon of light and holiday joy for the Bay Area. And each year, it grows just a bit brighter thanks to Dave Rezendes and a legion of volunteers who annually put together the event in the yard of his house.

"It's always fun watching the expressions of the faces and the joy," of visitors to his holiday display, he said. "Life has so many trials that it throws at people, and this is a moment that you can escape that, and enjoy the beauty of the season."

No home holiday light display in the Bay Area comes even close in sheer size to Deacon Dave's. This year's show contains 640,350 lights, most of them consisting of chained 100-light strands bought at stores. Having the largest light display in the Bay Area was never the goal for Deacon Dave. It just happened organically.

An army of volunteers starts building the holiday display on the weekends after Labor Day. They range in age from teenagers to seniors, and come from all walks of life, including engineers from nearby Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. They break into two teams. One team works on developing and building mechanical items and displays, while the other is responsible for placing the lights around the property.

Each year, his holiday display has a different theme. For 2019, the theme is Poinsettia Village, and includes an elf factory with a mechanical conveyor belt where the elves fill pots and plant poinsettia plants. Although his religious faith is on display, he makes the display accessible to non-Christian holiday-goers. Deacon Dave usually comes up with the theme himself each year, but how the display comes together is a collaborative project between everyone who volunteers.

"I want to capture their imagination. I do reserve the papal veto," Deacon Dave explained with a smile.
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