Holiday Lights: Frank Kostyun's Ahwatukee Holidays
It's the holiday season, which means lights are everywhere: On your neighbor's house, decorating the local bar, and on buildings of downtown Phoenix. During the buildup to Christmas, Jackalope Ranch will be running the numbers on some of the best and brightest light displays around the Valley.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
Frank Kostyun thinks big, maybe because he's a pretty big dude himself. Every year, the 6-foot-6 IT specialist constructs a gargantuan Christmas tree in his driveway made from a 65-foot ham radio tower draped with strings of multicolored bulbs. Strands are also snaked across this front lawn and all over his Ahwatukee home, every last one of which are wired in a computer.
Using a few finger-swipes on his smart phone, the 35-year-old can switch on a groovy synchronized light show choreographed to songs like Darude's "Sandstorm" or videos that are projected on a screen mounted on the garage door. Its part of a 29-minute loop that Kostyun edited together and includes funny bits like Chevy Chase turning on his holiday display in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or The Muppets' Animal and Beaker singing "Carol of the Bells."
The lights at Kostyun's are so bright that it's visible from the nearby South Mountain foothills, a fact he's proud of. "I once hiked up there and could see it plain as day," Frank says.
Strands and lights: Kostyun's house is covered with more than 150 strands, which total more than 150,000 lights.
The view from inside the 65-foot-tall tree in Frank's driveway.
Inflatables: None, it's all about the groovy light show.
Other decorations: In addition to being draped from a towering tannenbaum, the lights also wind their way around a few arcs and miniature trees in the front yard. He also had a bowl of free candy canes available for visitors.
Estimated electric bill: Around $30 to power the lights, projector, and amplifier. "Gotta love LED lights," Kostyun says.
Why do you decorate? "I was inspired as a kid by going to Bob Rix's house," says Kostyun, referencing the Phoenix resident who's renowned for the epic Christmas decorations on his house near 16th Street and McDowell. "This is just my version
Frank Kostyun's Ahwatukee Holidays, 4813 E. Pearce Road, will be on display through January 1. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Click here for more info.
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