By Emily Drooby
It’s one of the most revered Christmas light shows in the North East. One spectator, Beata Tabachnik explains, “Watching it live is just, it’s unreal.”
The extravagant display, which features 70,000 synchronized lights, almost went dark this year after the Old Bridge, New Jersey homeowners say the Township told them they would have to pay $2,600 a night for police and bus shuttle service.
Homeowner Tom Apruzzi, a devout Catholic, says, “I’m not shutting down for nobody…you’re always going to have that couple of people that don’t agree with it but it’s about the happiness and smiles on people’s faces and if you look at all these people there’s smiles everywhere.”
Even with the looming threat of thousands of dollars in fees, Apruzzi and his wife Kris decided to debut their family’s 2018 Christmas light show this season. Much to the happiness of spectators like Tabachnik who said, “I think it’s absolutely crazy, he’s giving back to the neighborhood, he’s not doing this for himself.”
Police are still on hand to help with traffic for the home located at 18 Central Avenue which is located in a residential neighborhood. Apruzzi says he hasn’t gotten a bill from the township yet and doesn’t know if one will come. Apruzzi says, “When I get the bill then my attorney gets the bill and we work it out from there.”
A Go Fund Me page set up for the light display has raised about $4,600. Tom’s brother Al Apruzzi estimates the family has spent over 100,000 dollars on the light show over the years. Telling us it takes about two months to set up. They also use the Christmas display to raise thousands of dollars in donations for the organization, ‘Homes For Our Troops’.
Al Apruzzi explained, “For someone to try to put a kibosh on Christmas and veterans and Children, you’re not going to win.”
We reached out to the township’s mayor, Owen Henry, and the Township’s police department for comment multiple times but have not heard back.
As of now Apruzzi plans on continuing the light show – it will run Thursday through Sunday during December from 6pm to 10pm and will run the whole week of Christmas.