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Upper Dublin Christmas ‘Light Up a Life’ canceled this year

“I need a break,” said Jack Yoast, 58 and father of four.

Visitors walk into the the North Pole entrance to Jack Yoast's Christmas display in Ambler.
Visitors walk into the the North Pole entrance to Jack Yoast's Christmas display in Ambler.Read moreMICHAEL BRYANT/ Staff Photographer

One of the region’s most popular holiday light shows, Upper Dublin’s “Light Up a Life,” will not be presented this season.

Jack Yoast said he would not be transforming his home at 1320 E. Butler Pike in Upper Dublin Township into the spectacular light display that usually lasts from Black Friday to the day before New Year’s Eve, because of the timing of Thanksgiving (it is late this year), new sod on the property, and recent knee issues that make it difficult to walk up and down steps.

“Light Up a Life" will be back next year, Yoast said, and that will be the last year for the display.

Yoast had planned to put an end to “Light Up a Life" this year because his youngest kids are now 17. But because of this year’s hiatus, he’ll extend it one more year.

“I need a break,” Yoast, 58 and the father of four, said Tuesday.

This would’ve been the 12th year Yoast and Acteon Networks, the telecommunications firm he co-owns with brother Michael, put on the holiday light village, which glowed from Yoast’s home near Ambler. Yoast estimates that about 35,000 people visit each year, hearing music blaring from a dozen speakers scattered throughout his lawn with upbeat songs like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

By his last count, a few years ago, the Christmas lights in his front-yard display totaled 330,000.

There have been scenes like elves playing volleyball, a 3D carousel, a large “Feliz Navidad” sign, a menorah, a Nativity scene, and more Santas than people could count.

“One year I had a guess-Santa contest, and I think it was 43 or 46 Santas," he said. "No one got it right.”

He estimates his December electric bill is about $2,800 more than his normal bill.

Visitors drop off donations, and Yoast gives the money to local charities; he estimates the holiday display has raised about $145,000 over the years. When it is back next year, he hopes to reach $200,000.

Families commented on the Facebook post announcing the cancellation of this year’s event, wishing Yoast good health and reminiscing about times spent wandering his decorated grounds with friends and family.

“Thank you for brightening our community for so many years … your light display will be dearly missed but your health comes first,” one comment reads. “Thank you also for letting us all know and for giving us the heads up that next year will be the last. Wishing you all the best this holiday season and in the new year!!”

Yoast said he is sorry he won’t be providing the community with the “jolly” break from reality, but is looking forward to the time off. As for this year, he’ll be spending time with his parents, ages 82 and 83; his wife of 23 years; and four kids, ages 23, 20, and 17-year-old twins.

“I’m going to recharge my batteries," he said. “But we will be back next year, and I am not going to end without having a big bang.”