Borderland Treasure: Holiday lights brighten up the borderland spirit

Local Treasure
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 1:05pm

There's nothing more magical this time of year than holiday lights turned on for the first time. Hundreds gathered at San Jacinto Plaza to see this year's El Paso Christmas tree lighting.

The tree is not the only attraction. Dozens of floats rode downtown, adorned for the Parade of Lights. Some say the real treasure is the spirit the lights bring to the community...

That was the goal for Fred Loya and his annual Christmas light show at his home on Paseo de Oro.

"It's my way and my family's way of giving back to El Paso for their generosity and supporting us in our business," Loya said.

Loya's trusted his show to Esteban de la Torre ever since it started seven years ago.

"I remember seeing some similar projects and i always thought it would be cool to be able to do it,” De la Torre said. “Mr. Loya gave a call one day and said he had a crazy idea for his house... and it grew from this small little project to this monstrosity light show."

And a monstrosity it is with 324 thousand lights covering the property. It took a year of planning and design, two months of just setting up the lights, and another month of programming them to music
to bring this show to life.

You'd think with all these lights it'd be a pretty hefty electric bill at the end of the month, but Loya says it only costs an extra $400.

But an even more impressive number is their audience. The Loyas estimate that about 40 thousand people have come out this season just to see the show.

  

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