Saugerties teen takes Christmas decorations to the max

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Zachary Sussin

Zachary Sussin

Zachary Sussin had a bright idea.

Three years ago, the teen got the idea he’d like to light up his parents’ Patch Rd. front yard with some Christmas decorations.

That first year, there was nothing special to show for his inspiration. But he was already looking ahead. He bought deeply discounted light sets after the holidays. Started haunting garage sales for old displays, collecting extension cords.

Two years and 80,000 tiny LED lights later, Sussin’s bright idea has lit up the roadside of his parents’ home just a quarter mile or so off Glasco Tpke. Round a curve in the darkness and it’s like the circus has come to town.

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It’s eye-catching enough from the road, but a drive-by doesn’t do the Sussin family’s display justice.

The house is barely discernible beneath a canopy of tiny lights. Giant blow-up Santas and candy canes wobble in the cool night air, looming over light-wrapped metal and grapevine deer, old-fashioned plastic blow molds and wooden cut-outs scattered across what seems like a vast field but is actually a single acre of land.

And that’s just the visual aspect of what Zachary calls the Sussin Family Christmas Lightshow. He’s also augmented it with a musical soundtrack.

The display is indeed a family project — Zachary’s father Troy, a professional landscaper with Kingston’s Augustine Nursery, does much of the heavy lifting. But it’s Zachary who coordinates the sequencing of the show’s audio and visual components from a computer.

Once he’s nailed the programming, the lights flash and fade and flicker to the music, a 3-D version of an old ’60s-style lightshow.

Obvious question: What does the family’s electricity bill look like?

Sussin said last year’s show, which was about half the size of this year’s, came in at about $80 more than usual. Because this year’s show is about 95 percent LED, he said he expects the increase to be negligible.

And the neighbors? In this part of town, they are few and far between and those who are closest have been cool, he said. The sound goes off at 9 p.m. and the lights are out at 10 p.m.

And yes, he’s seen Clark Griswold’s rooftop adventures in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and he laughs as much as anyone at it.

Besides, Clark’s decorations pale in comparison to Sussin’s.

The show begins at dusk and runs every night (weather permitting) until 9 p.m. with music and from 9–10 p.m. with just lights. The lightshow will run through New Year’s. You can follow them on Instagram @Sussinfamilyxmaslightshow and Facebook at Sussin Family Christmas Lightshow. The family invites anyone and everyone to drive by 123 Patch Rd. to view the show.

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