Many people love decorating their house with bright lights to get in the Christmas spirit. Now, however, one Christmas lights display has caused an all out war in a New Jersey town.
Tom Apruzzi has put up an enormous 70,000-Christmas light display at his Old Bridge house for fifteen years. His display includes music and attracts around 1,000 spectators a night to raise money for charity. One year, Tom raised $8,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and another he raised $13,000 for Homes For Our Troops.
However, Tom’s neighbors have always hated his festive display, and town officials have just ordered him to pay $2,000 a day if he wants to keep his Christmas light show going.
Mayor Owen Henry explained that officers have patrolled the area free of charge in years past, and the fee being placed on Tom includes the cost of paying officers overtime for the evening, moveable light posts to light the street, and fuel to power the movable light posts.
Tom describes the fees as “bureaucratic baloney,” and he has started a GoFundMe page asking for help raising the $75,000. He also pledged that he will continue putting up his display whether he raises the money or not.
“We’re not gonna listen to what the police have to say,” he said. “It is my First Amendment rights, it has to do with my religion.”
“We are not shutting down the Christmas lights show. Period,” Tom added defiantly. “I’m a taxpayer.”
Check out Tom’s lights show last year in the video below.