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Jun 21, 2022

Enjoy the Murphy Road Light Show this 4th of July!

What did you do during the long days of the COVID-19 shutdown — take up a new hobby like knitting or golf, or maybe binge watch some of your favorite shows? Well that wasn’t enough for Weingartners of Middletown. They took it to the next level by creating a spectacular light show at their home, synced up to music for neighbors and passersby to enjoy.

The Murphy Road Light Show began as a Christmas display and is now running for other holidays, including the Fourth of July.

When asked about the history behind the creation of such a spectacle, Eric Weingartner said, “We have always decorated our home for Christmas using traditional Christmas lights. When Covid hit, we found ourselves not working for nearly two years (both my wife and I are self-employed). It was actually my wife’s idea to do a ‘show’ for Christmas, just to spread some cheer because we knew everyone needed something to smile about. Our first year’s light show was quite basic – just a system that controlled traditional Christmas lights. It was able to make them blink, flash and fade to music using computer software and ‘controllers.’”

Once fully immersed in the hobby, Eric found a more complex system using different software and LED “pixels,” each one capable of thousands of colors.

Their inspiration for doing an Independence Day show grew out of their son enlisting in the United States Army. They already had thousands of these LED pixels and said nobody else in the immediate area does a show for any holiday other than Christmas.

Last year’s Independence Day show was a huge success, the Weingartners reported. They always had cars in front of our house watching and listening to the show. They were even featured on a national news network as part of a feel-good piece.

This year’s Independence Day show, which they call the “Salute to America” light show, has more than 13,000 LED pixels meticulously synced to music using a software program called XLights and broadcast on 88.5 FM. Visitors can pull up, tune into the radio station and “listen to the lights,” Eric said. The show started in mid-June and will run until Sunday, July 10. The show starts at 8:45 pm and runs until 11 pm.

Additionally, the family also runs a Halloween show in October which is slightly larger than the July 4 show. Last year, their Halloween show culminated with a drive-up trick-or-treat where the Weingartners were outside in costume, handing out hundreds of bags of candy in just a few hours.

Their Christmas show is far larger than the other two shows and continues to grow. Last year, their Christmas show encompassed the entire front yard and featured approximately 40,000 LED pixels. This year, they plan on expanding onto the other side of our property.

Many of their pixels are permanently mounted to the house, which enables them to do some smaller things with the lights. They ran a “Pray for Ukraine” message on the house this spring.

Feel free to drive up to 11 Murphy Rd. in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown this holiday season, and be sure to tune into 88.5 FM for the full effect as the light show is synced to patriotic songs for the holiday. The Weingartners ask that you be thoughtful of their neighbors when enjoying the show and please avoid blocking their driveways.

Click here to follow Murphy Road Light Show on Facebook.