HighTechScience.org 2010
Holiday Sound, Light & Laser Show

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The following appeared November 24, 2010 in the

"Despite financial troubles, holiday light show will go on"

By Marci Shatzman

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted November 24, 2010

   The snow alone costs $2,000, and as Rick Newman prepares to pull the switch on his fourth annual high-tech holiday light show on Thanksgiving evening in Old Floresta, there are money problems.

   His wife Jeanne was laid off as a legal secretary after five years, so there's goes his sponsor, the law firm she worked for. And his own business reproducing DVDs and CDs for business and transferring tapes is feeling the effects of the economy. "The last quarter has been quiet," he said.

   So will the show go on? Absolutely. "I promised the community and everyone has come to expect it," said Newman, who less than a month ago had his annual Halloween light show on view. The most costly part was the fog, he said.

   Both shows use his lawn as the stage on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Seventh Street, 699 NW Ninth Ave., and attract thousands of spectators every year. The holiday show stays up until Jan. 2 and features an artificial snowstorm every few minutes between 6 and 11 p.m. if the winds are calm enough. "If they're over 12 mph I have to turn off the snow," he said. But even then, he features snowflakes as part of the laser light show with 25,000 LED lights and some rope and tube lights, too.

   You can watch both snowfalls in action from last year's show on his holiday show website at HighTechScience.org/Christmas.htm.

   Newman mixes traditional Christmas favorites with Hanukkah songs as the score, and times the lights to the music. "Finding good Hanukkah songs are not easy," he said, and thanks Rabbi Boruch Liberow for bringing him a CD with "Oy Chanukah" by Theodore Bikel and "Hanukkah Homeboy."

   The show runs for about 50 minutes and repeats until 2 a.m. The music shuts off at 10 p.m. for the neighbors' sake, but spectators can still hear it on their car radio at 107.3 FM. Newman's website advises people to sit in their car to watch the show and listen to the music.

   On Christmas Eve, an elf hands out candy canes starting at 7 p.m.

   Jeanne Newman says she's from a family of nine, so even though they're going through hard times she supports Rick's position to keep the showing going. Don't expect a donation box next to his Make a Wish Foundation contribution box, which took in $800 from the Halloween show. But the Newman's are hoping a new sponsor will step forward.

"What I can give a sponsor is their name on my website and a big lit up sign with show 'sponsored by.' We also get a lot of media coverage, including NBC last year," he said.

   "Just tell everyone to come down and see the show," Jeanne Newman said.

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