Fort Worth-area Christmas light show goes bidi bidi bom bom for Selena
Visitors to a family’s Christmas lights in Haltom City in 2020 will get an added bonus that they probably won’t see anywhere else: a concert by Texan Tejano Queen Selena. The larger than life “Wisdom Path Lights” The show includes choreographed light projections with the late singer’s hits and concert clips.
Wisdom Way Lights has been an annual tradition for Jesse Gonzalez’s family since 2012. Every year the shows get bigger, more high tech, and more spectacular, but they’re still a family run love affair for the holidays. Gonzalez puts them together based on the creative ideas of his wife and children. His wife gets credit for Selena.
“My wife Angela is a huge Selena fan and wanted me to do something in her memory,” says Gonzalez. “So we thought the COVID would be so bad this year and a lot of people would be stuck at home and without work. Now would be the best time to do something big to make everyone happy – and what could be better than a display full size with a mix of some of her favorite hits and concert clips? “
During the six-minute tribute show, clips from Selena concerts are projected onto an LED screen, while music and excerpts from interviews are played over loudspeakers. Christmas trees on the lawn “dance” along in a choreographed light show while she sings and speaks. A total of 8,300 LED lights are used in the presentation.
Gonzalez edited the show himself, working six to seven hours a day directly on his home computer for five days.
“I finished it at 10am on Thursday, plugged it in for a test run on Thursday night, and it was perfect. We were ready for the show to start that Friday,” he says.
The show is particularly suitable for 2020, the 25th anniversary of Selena Quintanilla’s death. A recently released Netflix documentary about her life and murder in South Texas is sparking interest in the singer worldwide.
“I usually direct my Christmas themes to the younger generation. I made Mario and Pokemon,” says Gonzalez. “How many people in the community did my wife and I grow up with Selena and my wife said, ‘Why don’t we put on a show to attract adults?’ We thought about it and made up Selena, who was trending because of the Netflix show. “
Selena is only part of the Wisdom Way Show, however. The entire 15-minute show also includes favorite characters from video games and cartoons.
“My 5 year old son Hector loves the Nintendo game Super Smash Bros., and my 2 year old daughter Hilda is a huge Peppa Pig fan. So I made a mix of Smash Bros. with a shot of Peppa Pig,” says Gonzalez. “So if you are a gaming enthusiast this is the place for you.”
Gonzalez points out that he does not own the rights to the music, which includes clips of songs by Queen, the film The Greatest Showman, Pentatonix’s rendition of “Hallelujah,” and more. But he doesn’t charge an entrance fee and doesn’t ask for donations. The show can be watched for free from the security of their car (tuned to channel 90.7 on the radio) or from the sidewalk.
He says some people pull up garden chairs and others even dance in the street.
“It’s a safe and free event for the people,” he says. “There’s nothing like sitting in the comfort of your own vehicle and enjoying a few Christmas lights.”
Gonzalez, a Trimble Tech High School graduate who moved to Haltom City in 2011, says his Christmas screenings started humbly, but out of a real love for the holidays.
“My first light display was in the winter of 2012 and it started off really small, just a couple of fairy lights connected to a sound box, a ‘Dr. Christmas’ kit that I bought from Home Depot for $ 69,” says he. “My obsession has grown over the years and my show just keeps getting bigger.”
The 39-year-old doesn’t have a lighting or event design background – he’s a logistics professional who owns a freight broker – but he and his wife spend weeks designing the show and hand installing each lightbulb because they love it to give the visitors a smile. Faces every season. The last time they turn off the lights is on January 3rd, they’ll take everything off and put it in a storage unit behind their house, as they took full advantage of their attic five years ago.
Oh, and their utility bills? Only about $ 75 higher than usual on vacation thanks to the LED lights.
“With every passing car and smile that I saw, it gave me fuel to keep the show going,” says Gonzalez. “My goal is one day to have over 20,000 lights and hope to have a place [the TV show] The great Christmas light battle show. “
Wisdom Way Lights runs every evening from 6pm to 11pm and runs until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, but until January 3rd.
Find it at 4521 Wisdom Way, Haltom City, and follow Wisdom Way Lights on Facebook and YouTube for updates. Click here for a list of the most spectacular light displays around Fort Worth.