Neighborhood light show brings West Side community together

John Gomez programs display, helps neighbors with setup

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man is spreading holiday cheer and bringing his West Side community together, and it’s quite a sight.

John Gomez said his enthusiasm for blinks and jingles started six years ago with a small holiday yard design, and his setup has grown since then.

At least five of Gomez’s neighbors have joined in on the Christmas spectacle.

“Everybody wants to be involved, but it’s really hard and technical to actually get hands-on,” he said. “So I go ahead and set up the shows for them, and I do all the technical issues, and they get to provide me with the smiles and some drinks or whatever.”

More than 65,000 blinking lights make up the display that can be seen as your drive down Arcadia Creek near Culebra Road.

“There’s no machine that’s going to push it in for you. You have to literally push each light bulb in, and it’s technical. It takes forever,” Gomez said.

The setup starts the day after Halloween. He said one of the most challenging parts of putting on the display is programming every blink on his computer screen.

“We’re able to program every millisecond of time and loop patterns within, and it takes days, sometimes a week, just to get two or three songs done,” Gomez said.

Some may think Gomez and his neighbors may be facing hefty bills to do all the blinking lights.

“We use a very small voltage, and you’re able to do more lighting with less amounts of power,” he said.

Gomez said he will keep doing his display every year until he can’t climb anymore and hopes his neighbors carry on the tradition.

He says if you’re driving down the road and see someone spreading Christmas cheer, be a good scout.

“You see someone on a ladder (and) they can’t get that lightbulb, give them a hand, step on the ladder and help them out,” Gomez said.

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.