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In This Christmas Light 'Competition,' The Whole Neighborhood Wins

YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — Manning Street in Yucaipa is one of the probably thousands of streets where neighbors try to outdo each other with their holiday decorations. On Manning, however, sharing holiday cheer is a team effort.

On Friday night, residents of this Yucaipa neighborhood flipped the switch to turn on their elaborate Christmas light displays, which they set to music and connect to each other's homes.

Manning Street in Yucaipa
Manning Street in Yucaipa

Jon Vrolyks started the tradition in 2003, when two neighbors joined their displays with his. Today, 16 homes participate in the impressive coordinated, Christmas cacophony of sound and light.

"Just always trying to make it a little bit better and prettier, so you just keep adding on and adding on, and this is what you get," Vrolyks told CBS2 News.

And what you "get" takes a lot of work. Using their own time and research, the neighbors set up their displays and connect them via a complicated, makeshift switchboard, a laptop that programs the lights and music, and wireless transmitters.

The hard work pays off when you satisfy the harshest Christmas critics: the children.

"I just really like it 'cause it's super cool, and all of the lights go with the tune of the song," tiny visitor Charlee Werden told CBS2.

"We all contribute and help each other out," said Vrolyks. "This is what makes Manning Street. It's a pretty special place."

And for those curious about the electric bill, Manning Street neighbors say, though the expenses do go up, it's not as much as people expect.

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