New home sought for Holiday Road Light Show

Brad Boyink is looking for a new outlet to light up the 2012 Holiday Road Light Show. Boyink - creator of the 300,000-light, 13-home synchronized music display in Spring Lake Township's Heather Court neighborhood - has bought a new home near Lake Michigan.
Marie Havenga
Mar 7, 2012


He said his “dream house” isn’t conducive to Christmas carols and light shows designed for tens of thousands of visitors.

Boyink posted a message on Facebook that he’s looking for new digs for his display.

“There just isn’t any room where we moved to do the light show,” Boyink said. “I haven’t given up looking for a new location. I’ve been getting e-mails from Holland, Muskegon and people all over giving recommendations. We’re starting to get a lot of feedback on potential new sites.”

In its six years — four centered at his Heather Court home and two on Grand Haven’s Harbor Island — the show raised more than $170,000 for charities. Boyink said they raised close to $50,000 for Special Olympics with the 2011 show.

Holiday Road is the second-largest neighborhood show in the country, according to Boyink. It has been outdone only by a 19-house display in Piketon, Ohio.

Boyink said there are several promising alternative sites for his holiday hobby, but none in the Tri-Cities, which is where he said he would prefer to keep the seasonal sound show. He said his ultimate goal is to keep it in a neighborhood setting.

“Right now, my big priority is getting moved,” Boyink said.

Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash said that Holiday Road was enjoyed by many, but scorned by a few who disliked the traffic and inconvenience of having a big light show outside their front door.

Township leaders scheduled a neighborhood meeting two years ago to discuss the show and its future. They conducted a 2011 survey of neighbors within a half-mile radius and more than 80 percent supported the continuation of the show.

“We got everyone at the table and got the (Ottawa County) Sheriff’s Department involved, and a lot of those concerns were eliminated,” Nash said. “Obviously, there were still some people opposed to it. It kind of depends on your tolerance. Some people like the flash and having lots of people around, and some don’t.”

Nash said if it was his choice, he’d move the show to downtown Grand Haven.

But Boyink said that would never work — the building facades are too flat, and there’s not enough room for video panels and other high-tech equipment that rocked the residential neighborhood.

“You would literally have to shut down Washington Street to do anything that would even come close to what we pulled off here,” Boyink said of his Spring Lake Township neighborhood. “... And I never wanted this to be about commercialism. The moment you drop it in a downtown, it’s commercialized and more of a tourist draw for the businesses.”

Boyink said a record 70,000-plus drove by or walked by the 2011 show.

“It looked the best it ever looked,” he said. “This was my dream. I did everything I wanted to do with it. If it doesn’t come back, we went out on top.”

Boyink said he’s confident someone will pick up the plug. He’s offering all his equipment and expertise for the 2012 show.


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