Holiday tradition continues: dazzling lights for charity - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Holiday tradition continues: dazzling lights for charity

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There's so many lights now the creator, Matthew Wilmes, has lost count. There's so many lights now the creator, Matthew Wilmes, has lost count.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Five years ago, a synchronized light show to Carol of the Bells was becoming an internet sensation.

"And I just called my mom and showed her the video and said, 'We can do this'," said Matthew Wilmes, creator of the show.

So Wilmes did at his mom's house. He's been at it now for four years. The dancing lights use seven power stations and they're synced through his laptop computer.

"We try to stay away from stuff that's been done by everyone: trans-Siberian orchestra and things like that. People have seen that all over YouTube, so we're trying to offer them something else," said Wilmes.

Over the years, the show has grown and changed.

"It was a mad rush to get it up, and I didn't have the most time to test it out, but everything looked fine," said Wilmes. "We do a lot of traditional stuff, but every year I throw in a guilty pleasure of mine."

Now, there's so many lights Wilmes has lost count, and it's all synced to music. Every year, a different local radio station will link up its broadcast to its show.

"It just depends on the song, what goes with what," said Tracey Wilmes, his wife.

It's not just the Wilmes household, who's taking part in the light show this year. They also got their neighbors, the Lydons, to join their synchronized show.

"That opening night when the people are watching it, and the lights are in sync with the music. It's kind of cool to see it go from start to finish like that," said Tracey Wilmes.

This dazzling display is all for charity. The family accepts donations for the light show with each dollar going to a different cause annually. In 2011 they raised over $1,200 for Support Siouxland Soldiers. For 2012, it's the Food Bank of Siouxland.

"We don't keep a dime," said Matthew Wilmes.

In case you want to see the show for yourself, it runs until Jan. 2, from 5:30 till 10 Sunday through Thursday at 4026 Capitol Street in Sioux City. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show ends at 10:30.

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