New Jersey town threatens to shut down famed Christmas light show


A New Jersey man is arguing with authorities to keep his family’s massive Christmas light display running this holiday season.

The town of Old Bridge has threatened to shut down the famed light show if homeowners Thomas and Kris Apruzzi fail to pay $2,000 per night for security, he said. They also want him to bus in people to avoid traffic issues.

Last year, authorities received complaints about large crowds gathering to watch the elaborate show, along with traffic. The town footed the bill for a security detail to manage what they referred to as “unsafe conditions” in the neighborhood, but now, they want the Apruzzi family to pay the fee.

“I am not gonna pay for nothing,” Thomas told New York ABC station WABC. “They want me to bus people in and out so they don’t have to park on the road and that’s totally wrong.

“The problem is this could’ve been taken care of many months ago and they tried to strong arm me in October knowing that I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to do what I need to do,” he continued. “[They] tried to do stipulations with this and that and everything like that. They brought in auxiliary cops for past five years to direct people for the traffic for everything like that and it never turned into a big deal until a couple of neighbors [complained]. I guess they were just whining and whining and whining to the town and the mayor had to come forward.”

WABC
The mayor of Old Bridge Township, N.J., is trying to force Thomas Apruzzi to pay $2,000 a night for security at his Christmas light display.

The Apruzzi family has been putting on the light show for 15 years, free of charge to the public.

The computer-driven spectacle, which is made up of 70,000 lights, is fully synchronized to music and runs for four hours from Thursday to Sunday each week, according to WABC. The family says they have invested nearly $100,000 to date.

“I love putting smiles on people’s faces,” Thomas told WABC. “Joy and smiles, and that’s what the Christmas holiday is all about.”

PHOTO: Thomas Apruzzi, of Old Bridge Township, N.J., says the town is trying to force him to pay $2,000 a night for security at his Christmas light display.WABC
Thomas Apruzzi, of Old Bridge Township, N.J., says the town is trying to force him to pay $2,000 a night for security at his Christmas light display.

Asked what he will do if the town does try to shut down the show, Thomas said: “They can speak to my lawyer. I’m gonna continue on, it’s my First Amendment right.”

The Apruzzi family has started an online fundraiser to help fund the fee, which has raised nearly $2,000 in two days. The show will go on even if the goal isn’t met, Thomas told WABC.



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