|City of Yuma sings Jingle Bells|
Here's a silly song to bring Christmas cheer from the City of Yuma employees - Happy Holidays, Yuma!
|Santa, YPD deliver Christmas|
Santa made a special delivery Friday to some Yuma families with the help of officers and civilian volunteers with the Yuma Police Department.
|Yuma firefighter lights up house|
Capt. Daniel Padilla, of the Yuma Fire Department, has synchronized 4,000 Christmas lights on his home in the 2100 block of East 27th Place to christmas music.
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Yuma firefighter spreads cheer with musical light display
Although his fellow firefighters often tease him about how his house can be seen from Skylab, or that it puts a tremendous strain on the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station due to all the lights on it, Capt. Daniel Padilla never lets the jokes dampen his Christmas spirit.
“It's a lot of fun. I really like doing this,” said Padilla, of the Yuma Fire Department. “I look forward to it every year.”
This year Padilla, who lives in the 2100 block of East 27th Place, has taken it to a whole new level and has synchronized his Christmas lights and yard decorations to music. Altogether, he says his home and lawn is now covered by about 4,000 LED lights.
Hanging all those lights took Padilla about two weeks, but he didn't do it alone. His wife Cathy, who works for the Rural/Metro Fire Department, helped. On the lawn there are snowmen, crosses, candy canes, angels, gingerbread characters and even penguins.
Padilla said he began programming the computer that controls the sequences of how the lights blink back in September. In addition to a 500-watt speaker to run the audio, the system also has a low-frequency F.M. transmitter that allows people sitting in their cars to hear the music by tuning their radios to channel 96.3 FM.
“Every strand of lights and every extention cord has to be connected to the controller,” Padilla said. “The computer programming takes a while. You have to listen to the music and play with it to get it the way you want it.”
Since the system can be used to create a light show for any holiday, Padilla said he may do something for Halloween at some point in the future because it is his wife's favorite holiday. But for now he is happy to hear it play the Christmas music he's put into it, which is 12 songs ranging from holiday pop songs to traditional songs.
The Padillas turn the system on from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on week days and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
Padilla said he started putting up Christmas lights at their previous home 18 years ago for his children as they were growing up. Now he says he gets to do it for his granddaughter.
“It was just that snowman with a set of lights,” Padilla said pointing to the figure set up off to one side of the front yard.
Although Padilla's display started out simple, a few light strings for around the roof line, it didn't stay that way for very long. When the Padillas moved into the new home, which is in the middle of a cul-de-sac, he said he knew it was perfect for putting up Christmas decorations.
So every year Padilla added lights and outdoor decorations. This, however, didn't go unnoticed and developed into an unspoken contest between him and one of his neighbors, Tommy Chapelle, a retired Yuma police officer, to see who had the best light display.
“We would start setting our lights up, and he would put up more lights then I would, so I would have to go out and buy some more and put them up too,” Padilla said. “It was like we had a Griswold Christmas thing going.”
Always looking for ways to add some “WOW” to Christmas display, Padilla said the other neighbors have agreed to let him connect their lights to his system, so the entire cul-de-sac will be filled with blinking and flashing lights.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.
Although Capt. Daniel Padilla's Christmas light display started out simple, a few light strings for around the roof line, it didn't stay that way for very long. This year his home and lawn is covered by about 4,000 LED lights. Broadcast by low frequency F.M. transmitter, people sitting in their cars to hear the music by tuning their radios to channel 96.3 FM.