Holland College Blog

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Holland College instructor’s popular light and music display back for the Christmas season

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Rob Blanchard's light extravaganza on Harvest Drive in Stratford, P.E.I. If you can't see it in person, go to the YouTube links at the bottom of this message.

Last weekend we had our first snowstorm of the season, filling the hearts of many Islanders with anticipation and dread in equal proportions. One thing a good storm will do is throw people into a panic about the impending holiday season. There’s nothing better than white-out conditions and icy roads to trigger the pre-Christmas alarms. Last Sunday, the clack of Christmas light bulbs rattling against each other echoed across the province as people hauled strings of lights out from under the stairs, untangled the rats’ nest that they inevitably become regardless of how fastidiously we stow them away,  and braved a ruthless northeaster to fasten them to decks and drape them over bushes. It’s a task that for many people is more of an obligation than a pleasure, but not for Holland College’s Rob Blanchard, an instructor in the Computer Studies programs.  Rob’s had his 8,000 lights up for a while now.

Rob’s Christmas displays have been a local attraction for many years, first in Sherwood, and now at the family’s new home in Stratford. Actually, the word “display” is something of an understatement. “Extravaganza” would more aptly describe what goes on outside the Blanchard’s home in December. Eight thousand lights are computer controlled and synchronized so that they fade from one colour to another and flash in time with Christmas music. But there’s no tinny public address system blasting the music out. Visitors tune their car radios to 91.7 FM when they are within 150 feet of the house to hear the tunes as they slowly drive past.

“Four Christmas songs are featured. Each song takes approximately eight hours to pre-program on the computer,” Rob explains.

This year, following the suggestion of many visitors, the display features a donation box for the Salvation Army, giving an always appreciative public the opportunity to the support a worthwhile cause while getting into the Christmas spirit.

The lights are on Sunday to Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The display is located at 46 Harvest Drive in Stratford. Take the Kinlock Road, go approximately 300 metres past Fox Meadow golf course and turn left onto Trillium. Go to the end of Trillium and turn right onto Harvest Drive.

If you can’t make it over to Rob’s house, you can see the house on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVtyrAhsQg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz4JIuIp6zg and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKWM3YQEWME

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Written by Sara Underwood

December 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Staff, Uncategorized

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