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Family Faces Thousands in Fines for Epic Christmas Lights Because Spreading Cheer Will Cost You

2 minute read

A New Jersey family’s attempt to spread Christmas cheer could cost them thousands of dollars in fines this holiday season.

For the Apruzzi family, the past 15 years, their home in Old Bridge, NJ, has been a destination for epic Christmas light displays. In an interview with CBS, Tom Apruzzi explains it succinctly: “I just love Christmas.”

These extravagant light displays, however, have presented tension with neighbors who think that the showy display is chaotic for the community and could pose a safety threat due to heavy foot traffic, minimal street parking and accessibility for first responders. As a result, some have asked Old Bridge mayor Owen Henry and other city officials to intervene.

While Apruzzi told CBS that he’s paid almost $150,000 to put on the display for the past 15 years, this year he also faces a $3,000 fine for every night his Christmas light show is on. The Apruzzis’ light display first gained significant attention after it was featured in an episode of The Great Christmas Light Fight; they’ve used the interest in their light display to help collect visitor donations for veterans charity, “Home for Our Troops,” raising over $30,000 in the past six years, acording to Apruzzi.

As of right now, the Apruzzis plan on paying for the first shows of the holiday season out of pocket, although a GoFundMe page was also set up to help offset costs.

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com