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24TRADITION24Itisnx19teasytoputtheHolidayLightsTraindisplaytogetherbutitisafunrewardingprocessforeveryoneinvolved.x1cOurphilosophyfortheHolidayLightsTrainisthatwex19renotdoneputtingitupuntilwex19retakingitdown.Newdecorationsgoupeveryweekendx1dsaysPete.x1cThereareaquarterofamillionlightsandthereareover400metalframesthatneedtobeputupandwired.x1dTheset-upinvolvesanywherefromtwoto40volunteersperweekendfromthebeginningofNovemberuntiltheendofDecembermanyofwhomhavebecomeclosefriendswithPeteandCharleen.x1cMostofthevolunteersarepeoplefromWatermanandsomearejustpeoplewholovetrains.IhadoneguythatcameuphereeveryweekendfortenyearsfromPrinceton.Hepassedawayacoupleofyearsago.Hex19dstayatourhouseallweekend.x1dPetesayshespends60to70hoursaweekatLionsCommunityParkduringtheholidayseasonwhichispossiblymoretimethanhespendsathisfull-timebusinessScrewballsT-ShirtsandSigns.x1cMywifeandIhaddinneratnineox19clocklastnightx1dsaysPetebutheandCharleendonx19tmindworkingovertimeaslongastheyx19rebusyputtingsmilesonpeoplex19sfaces.PeteandhiswifelargelyfundtheprojectthemselveswithalittlehelpfromdonationsbutPeteenjoysspendinghistimeandmoneyonbrighteningtheholidayforthefamiliesthatcometoridetheHolidayLightsTrain.x1cSomepeoplespendtheirmoneyonaboatsomepeoplehaveafancycarandsomepeoplehaveacottage.Myhobbyjusthappenstobringhappinesstoalotofpeoplex1dsaysPete.ThathappinessaccordingtoPeteisthepayoffandeverydayduringtheseasonispayday.x1cSaturdaywasouropeningdayandIsawoutofthecornerofmyeyeawomanwithhersonwhohappenedtobeautistic.IcouldtellshewasworriedabouthimgettingonthetrainbutIcouldalsotellhewasprettyexcitedaboutit.WedoaninspectiontripeverydaybeforeweopensoIsaidx18Wex19lltakehimaroundontheinspectiontrip.Bringhimoverhere.x19Westartedrollingandthiskidwasjustoncloudnine.Hewassohappy.x1dx1cIsthisreallyFREEx1dYesSantatakestimetotalkwitheveryvisitor.Photosareoptional.