Lights, lights, lights … 200,000 of them, as a matter of fact

7:00 am | December 9, 2012

In fact, it’s rare for Christmas to be far from his thoughts at any time of year.

Photo by Danny Davis
Roger Forbes tinkers with some of the controllers for his computerized light display, which features over 200,000 lights. Each of Forbes’ 40 controllers has 16 channels, which can control any number of lights at a given time.

When he takes his summer vacations to the beach, he listens to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas;” he has his own radio station, the Forbes Family Family Christmas Network, which is strictly dedicated to Christmas music, new and old; and for his decorations this year, he is using more than 200,000 lights.

That’s right. More than 200,000.

“Sometimes my wife tells me that if I buy any more Christmas lights,” Forbes said, with a smile, “she’s going to send me down to Tetrick [Funeral Home] for a measurement.”

Forget Clark Griswold, the character Chevy Chase made famous in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” The Griswold house only boasted 25,000 lights. Elizabethton residents can see ten times that amount tonight on Summit Avenue.

This evening at 7, Forbes and his wife, Mary, will host “The House on Christmas Street,” a Christmas light and music tour, on the corner of Holston and Summit avenues.

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