Three days after Thanksgiving, Aaron Maue spent a Sunday night hurrying from the computers inside his house to the light displays and breaker boxes outside, trying to get and keep his electronic light display going in an unusually heavy downpour.
The day after Christmas, Maue, accompanied by his brother, Brett, had to make an emergency trip from Illinois, where their family had gathered to celebrate the holidays, to his home between Walker and Center Point, to fix a power supply and network problem. The two drove more than five hours back to Iowa, fixed the problem, and then returned to their family celebration more than five hours away.
Most people who enjoy the Blue Creek Christmas watch the neighborhood light up and listen to the music accompanying the show without realizing how much effort the display requires.
Located, as the name suggests, on Blue Creek Court, just east of the intersection North Center Point Road and Fee Road a few miles north of Center Point and a few miles south of Walker, the display has been lighting up the entire neighbor each Christmas since 2010.
Using thousands of computer-controlled multi-color pixel lights, the display fills the Maue’s yard and house, and spreads to every other yard on Blue Creek Court. The show includes a variety of Christmas music, from serious religious songs to funny holiday favorites like “Decorations,” the Bob Rivers parody of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” There is also a tribute to veterans each year; this year the song “It could happen again,” by Collin Raye tells the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 as World War I began.
Among the graphics used in this year’s show: Santa Claus, soldiers, the iconic Charlie Brown shirt design, and even a menorah.
Maue and his entire family — wife Debra and children Abby, Faith, Sydney and Gabe — spend months preparing the show each year. The children help program the lights and music, along with setting up the lights, cords and computer cables to create what Maue has called “seven acres of lights.”
This year, the Blue Creek Christmas will continue through Jan. 8. The lights go on at 5:30 p.m. and remain on until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. each Friday and Saturday.
See a story about the technology behind the light display HERE.
See the Blue Creek Christmas Facebook page HERE.
Watch a short video of one of this year’s songs below: