Seeing the light

Neenah resident celebrates Christmas with spectacular light display

by Tim Froberg

Scott Hughes resides on Gruenwald Avenue, but basically turns it into Griswold Avenue each holiday season.

The Neenah homeowner goes big with his prolific Christmas exterior lighting display – Clark Griswold big.

The Hughes’ home offers a spectacular holiday light show, which regularly draws large lines of cars stopping to take in the festive sights and sounds of Christmas.

Hughes’ dazzling display at 129 Gruenwald Ave. features a whopping 25,000 LED lights, which are synchronized to Christmas music accessible by tuning your car radio to 88.5 FM.

Viewers can help choose their holiday songs by going to Hughes’ website,, where they can click on the vote tab and choose a specific song. The votes are quickly tabulated, and the most popular choice is played next. 

Different genres of holiday music are offered during the week with varying playlists. In Hughes’ 2020 display, Sunday was church day with more religious music offered, while Saturday was kid’s night.

Highlighting Hughes’ eye-catching light show is a 30-foot “Mega Tree” that contains roughly 5,000 lights.

“People probably think I’m crazy, but that’s OK,” said Hughes.

It takes a tech-savvy person to pull off such an extravagant light show, and Hughes fits the bill. He works as a technology coordinator for TNT Crust in Green Bay.

“For me, it’s a hobby,” Hughes said. “I just like the excitement and joy that it brings to people. We get a lot of compliments and feedback. I’ll go outside and people in their cars will roll down their windows and yell, ‘Thank you so much.’ And it’s nice to see the smiles on faces of the kids. It’s just something that seems to bring out the joy in the community.”

This is the second year that Hughes has offered the Christmas light show. It’s a follow-up to his popular Halloween light show that he’s also displayed the past two years. Hughes starts work on his Christmas display in early November, and yes, it does get expensive.

“The electricity (price) isn’t that bad. It’s just the cost of the equipment and the lights themselves,” Hughes said. “But it’s worth it. Oh yeah.”

Hughes got the idea for his Christmas and Halloween displays simply by watching YouTube videos.

“I’m an IT guy and I watch a lot of YouTube,” he said. “I came across someone on YouTube with a great lights display and was like, ‘Hey, that’s kind of cool.’ And I’m the kind of guy who goes crazy with things like that. I either don’t do them, or I go crazy with them. There’s no middle ground with me.”

The light show hours are expected to run from 5:30-9 p.m. and Hughes hopes to keep it going through the first week of January. A sign is posted on the grounds, asking viewers to tune into 88.5 FM.

“There were people last year who would show up 45 minutes before it even started,” Hughes said. “The synchronized music just brings it to another level. Watching animation that goes to nothing – it’s just not the same. The music makes it a completely different experience.”

Viewers can help Hughes pay his electric and equipment bills through a donation box on his property or by going to his website.