Charlestown man's holiday light display sparks controversy

(WJAR)

A Charlestown man told NBC 10 News he’s made changes to his popular holiday display after neighbors complained it was too bright.

David Lamb said he’s trying to cooperate with the Town, police and neighbors after some have called his display a safety hazard and public nuisance.

“I just want to keep it going,” Lamb said Wednesday. “This is what I do. Other than the fire department stuff, this is who I am.”

Lamb said he’s been putting up elaborate holiday displays since 1991. Now, he dedicates the Christmas light setup to his wife, who passed away in 2016.

“We were together for 30-plus years,” Lamb said.

From December 1 to January 1, cars line up in front of his home on Route 91 and tune their radios to 107.1, so they can listen to holiday music sync up with the light display.

“At one time, there’s probably anywhere to 15 to 20 cars out here,” Lamb said.

But Lamb said some neighbors see that as a big problem.

“I understand the traffic issue, that’s all understandable, but that’s all stuff we can work through,” Lamb said.

The Head of the Building Department told NBC 10 some people have even accused Lamb of violating the town’s dark sky ordinance, which officials said is not the case.

A police cruiser parked in front of Lamb’s house Wednesday while cars lined the road to watch the display. Down the street, a sign warns drivers to watch for pedestrians ahead, who may be crossing the road to see the lights.

Lamb said he’s turned down the brightness and taken down some decorations this year to cooperate and keep the tradition alive.

“I have parents who brought their kids, who brought their kids and are now bringing their kids,” Lamb said. “It’s been going on a long time.”

Some say the display has become a family tradition.

“We live close by and must come at least 10 times,” said Jenifer Strimaitis.

Others shared similar sentiments.

“It’s just beautiful,” said Kalie Pantalone-Ryan. “And he puts a lot of work into it.”

Lamb said he plans to keep the display going, unless he’s forced to take it down.

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