Tony lights up Wexford with Christmas cheer with over 300,000 lights on his home
On a quiet road based in Drinagh, there sits a winter wonderland that will light up with Christmas spirit each night until January 2.
Though bypassers may be forgiven for thinking it is Santa's grotto, it is in fact the house and garden of Wexford man Tony Fitzpatrick. Each year, Tony and his family adorn their house on Green Road with a magnificent display which includes colourful lights, Santa figurines, reindeer and an array of other Christmas characters. Their aim? To raise funds for Ard Aoibhinn and inject some festive fun into the locality.
'I really enjoy doing it,' said Tony, who added that this has been a tradition for over 20 years. 'I am going to keep doing it until I drop!'
Together with his six children, Tony spent five weeks erecting the impressive display which will come to life each evening from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Each year they offer something a little different by adding a few new features to the display. A quirky firework tower and a new copper reindeer take centre stage in Tony's most recent display.
'People really like the firework tower but it is very sensitive to wind,' explained Tony.
It's hard to believe that this lightshow all started with a reindeer that Tony created from copper cut-offs from a time he was working as a window fitter. He kept adding reindeer and other additions and soon, he began to attract some attention.
'I went home one day and somebody had thrown some coins over my gate,' he explained. 'I had never intended to raise money but after checking that it was ok, I started collecting for charity.'
The display now includes over 300,000 lights and plenty of additions inspired by his family. These include a small fairy ring in the front of the garden which Tony set up especially for his granddaughter. Next year, he also hopes to construct a sleigh which will allow children to sit in it.
'I didn't get the sleigh done in time this year but hopefully, it will be here next Christmas,' he said.
People often ask Tony about the cost of running such a huge light display, which he says comes with a €900 bill. Despite this expense, the Fitzpatrick family believe it is worth the effort and look forward to lighting up Wexford every year.