Legal

Basmah Qazi

Family fined thousands of dollars for mega Christmas lights display

Family fined thousands of dollars for mega Christmas lights display

It’s an annual tradition for the Apruzzi family in the US, who are known for putting on a stunning Christmas light show at their home every year for the last 15 years.

With curious onlookers travelling from faraway lands to witness the magic for themselves, visitors who have had the opportunity to see the extravagant light décor first-hand always walk away with a smile on their face.

But it seems the festivities won’t last long, as local residents aren’t too happy with the chaos the light display brings. Claiming that they feel unsafe, they have taken their concerns to their local mayor.

Photo: CBS News

“We have to make it safe. I don’t have a choice,” Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry told CBS News .

According to Henry, residents have issued complaints about the number of people coming to see the light display every year, and with lack of street parking, they’re finding it increasingly difficult to get on with their daily activities.

Another major concern is the lack of accessibility for emergency services, and others have shown qualms over not being able to reach their own home due to the street being closed off.

But Apruzzi is devastated. Speaking to CBS News, he admitted he has spent a total of US$150,000 (AU$205,000) over the last 15 years in the hope to spread some Christmas cheer during the holiday season.

“I just love Christmas,” he said.

But now, due to complaints, Apruzzi is looking at a fine of US$3000 (AU$4100) for every night the display is on show.

“They want me to pay for police, they also want me to pay for shuttle service from a private parking lot and bus people in that they want me to pay for … and I’m not doing it,” said Apruzzi.

If Apruzzi fails to cooperate, the City Council will look at shutting down the light display, but Apruzzi isn’t planning to go down without a fight.

“If they shut me down, they’re going to have to talk to my attorney. This is my First Amendment right … Free speech and free religion,” said Apruzzi.

Do you think Apruzzi has the right to be angry? Or do agree with the residents? Let us know in the comments below.