The Griswolds in Gonzales
As soon as Halloween is over, Scott Raposo takes more than 70,000 commercial-grade LED holiday lights down from a second attic built just for his $40,000 worth of equipment.
By Thanksgiving night, cars pack Raposo’s street to watch one of south Louisiana’s most dazzling front yard light shows, all choreographed to music. He spends 12 hours per song programming his lights to flash and dance to a mix of traditional and contemporary songs—a mashup of “Baba O’Riley” and “Do You Hear What I Hear,” for example.
“I’ve always loved Christmas,” Raposo says. “One of the traditions we had growing up was driving around and looking at Christmas lights, and it always stuck with me. I do love the lights, but I don’t just love [putting up the display]; I love sharing it with everybody.”
The father of three young children says each of them anxiously awaits the day he pulls out the first batch of lights, and the community has rallied around the show, with 30 to 40 cars lining up on clear nights.
But to Raposo, the most stunning response from visitors has been donations to a collection box for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital he stationed at the edge of his yard. He’s amazed each year to find everything from large bills to bags of coins from children’s emptied piggy banks in the box, and in just a few years he’s raised thousands for the hospital, all in the spirit of Christmas.
“It’s our little phenomenon,” Raposo says.
Watch the Raposo family’s light show
13124 Mill Grove Drive, Gonzales
• Thanksgiving through Jan. 2
• Sunday-Thursday: Sunset until 9/10 p.m.
• Friday and Saturday: Sunset until 10/11 p.m.
More must-see lights
• Rizan Christmas light show: 16215 Stubbs Lane (Pride)
• The Messengers’ Christmas Land: Prince Charles Street off Eden Church Road (Denham Springs)
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original posting, which listed the Clark family Christmas display at Elliot Road near Tiger Bend as another must-see display in Baton Rouge. The Clark family has updated us that they decided not to do the light show this year, but they are planning a bigger and better show at the same location for next year.