BRISTOL – In a move looking to bring back some of the child-like wonder and appreciation for Christmas lights displays, Light Up Bristol has returned to Page Park Pool with its lights and inflatables for another holiday season.
Husband and wife duo, Kristopher Salls, 22, and Ashley Salls, 23, have been working to bring a holiday lights display to Page Park Pool as part of an annual family tradition with permission from the city.
“This is our second year here at Page Pool and we’re pretty lucky that they let us use it,” Kristopher Salls said. “We started in 2020 in December and I started at home with this as a very small hobby. My Dad and I got into it and then my sister.”
The display organizer said he first started decorating outside with his family in 2005.
Over 120 inflatables and around 300,000 lights, including the inflatables, are placed about the pool area for area residents to enjoy. The Salls family will throw the switch on the lights around 5 p.m. Thursday and they will remain up until December 27.
“Folks walk around outside the property or drive around and we take donations of any new or gently used toys and nonperishable food items to be donated for people needing them,” Kristopher Salls said.
He said he ideally likes setting up the display earlier in the year but began his efforts in September. Utilizing a lighting system, the Salls’ light displays are timed in patterns with music playing.
“We do it to keep the tradition going,” Salls said. “Not too many families decorate anymore. I really just want to bring back the feeling when I was growing up and seeing lights at people’s houses or a snowman in someone’s yard.”
Ashley Salls said, for her, it was about seeing young people smile.
The Salls have been to Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Boston and more as part of their hunt for light displays.
“In Wallingford, we had a lady donate about 40 inflatables to us from her personal collection,” said Kristopher Salls of one of the most recent collections they received. “Our oldest that we still have in the display is a Santa Claus and we got it on clearance back in 2007. He’s been with us a long time.”
The lighting display organizer said it was important to stake inflatables down well and to not turn them on in the wind.
“Wind is your worst enemy,” he said. “We've had some that have lasted 10 to 15 years and some that have lasted two years. It all depends on how you take care of them. This year we’re getting more into the lights and away from inflatables but we still get quite a few.”
The couple said they had around 75% of the Page Park Pool display ready for the season as of Tuesday.