For Lakewood resident John Luciano, there is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than by continuing his parents' tradition of illuminating the evening with Christmas lights.
Area residents who drive south along Mall Boulevard in Lakewood will be treated to a display of 20,040 lights at Luciano's 735 Hunt Road home. From glistening white reindeer, multi-colored wrapped pines to accents of holly and red wreaths, Luciano's real icicle-rimmed home shouts "Merry Christmas."
According to Luciano, decorating his home with lights is a tradition he has been doing for more than 20 years, and now that his parents, Nick and Janice, have passed on, it's a way of honoring them.
Pictured is the home of John Luciano, located at 735 Hunt Road in Lakewood, which has more than 20,000 lights.
P-J photo by C. Ralph Heeter
"All of my family is gone, and my parents liked the lights, that's why I do it - I have it in my heart," Luciano said.
"I also get enjoyment out of people stopping by to look at them," Luciano continued.
In the past, Luciano has done displays of 10,000, 12,000 or 14,000, but never before has he gone above 20,000. It takes him about a month to do, but he says he'll probably do even more next year.
"At night I turn them on and if it doesn't look right I change it. I've got a decorated tree in the house, but we don't go crazy inside - just outside."
Hunt Road homeowner
"Wherever there looks like a spot I could put lights - I put lights," Luciano said. "At night I turn them on and if it doesn't look right I change it. I've got a decorated tree in the house, but we don't go crazy inside - just outside."
If area residents opt to drive a little further east on Hunt Road, they will come across several other decorated houses, including a Western-themed Santa saloon, as well as a father-son project at 300 Hunt Road.
Joseph Lisciandro, 78, has been living on Hunt Road since 1976, and the year after he moved into the home he began putting up Christmas lights. That tradition has not only continued, but has grown over the nearly 40 years Lisciandro has called West Ellicott home. In addition to adding new and improved lights and changing up designs, Lisciandro's son, and neighbor, Carl has also picked up the tradition.
"I enjoy doing what I do, and as long as I'm able to do it I'll keep on doing it - it's the spirit of Christmas," Lisciandro said. "My son grew up here, and he bought the lot next door to build his house. It wasn't too long after that he started decorating too."
Lisciandro started putting Christmas lights up right after Thanksgiving, and has been continuously working on the project since then. Lisciandro's wife, Carol, has been particularly helpful and inspiring when it comes to Christmas light decorating, he said.
"If it wasn't for Carol, I would probably stop doing it, or do it less - because she really enjoys this," Lisciandro said.
Although there are a number of other houses on Hunt Road that also put a lot of effort into Christmas decorating, Lisciandro says it's not a competition, rather it's an opportunity to share the spirit of the holidays with friends and neighbors.