I anticipated Thursday and Friday as being very very busy days…and boy were they! Thursday was a 300 candy cane day for Santa with kids lined up 10 deep for over 3 hours. Started off with a bang with 12 cars awaiting light-off and didn’t go quiet until 9:45. I had two Shriners helping out with traffic and it really flowed smoothly (even with about 10 buses and 15 limos). Estimated time to come up the street about 10-15 minutes with approximately 1100 cars coming through.
Friday night was a whole different ball game…it was huge! Santa almost set a record for one night with almost 400 candy canes given out. I think he had two very brief moments when he had no kids in his lap. It was a great send off for the 2016 season. Wonder how many folks will ask me were Santa is tonight…there is always a couple who are not with the program.
By 5:30 it was taking 20 minutes to come up the street with three folks directing traffic (including my eldest daughter), but moving fairly smoothly with only a few buses and limos…and than…a medical emergency! A lady in her early seventies hit her head when exiting a limo and it knocked her unconscious. 911 was called and we anxiously awaited their arrival. I kept the heavy traffic moving with a plan to stop them at the top when I heard their siren (thereby clearing a lane for them to drive up). After about 15 minutes we finally heard them and I stopped the line. So 20 minutes later, with an ambulance, an emergency responder and a sheriff’s car parked at the top, I tried to get the line moving again. Very slow movement for the next 25 minutes as they evaluated her and finally put her in the ambulance. This was the first “Medical Emergency” I’ve ever had connected with Sunny Side Lights.
From the time of the first stoppage of the line, right up until the line finally ended at 10:15, it was a 30 to 45 minute wait to get up the street. According to a couple of limo drivers Hillsboro Road was backed up with folks trying to turn in to Sunnyside. The over-whelming response to my Christmas Lights, especially the traffic back-ups, is a contributing reason to why next year will be my last as a “mega light” destination. Sometimes things just get too popular!
Even with all the problems, we still counted over 1400 cars coming thru and the street was constantly crowed with folks “taking the walk”. It was also the biggest donation night so far.
Rain has arrived and Saturday could be wet (although it is suppose to be primarily a day time event). Typically Christmas Eve is far and away my busiest night, with 1600-1800 cars coming thru. With warm teperatures (60’s), I expect it to be big and so will Sunday. I’ll report back.