Video: You’ve got to watch the synchronized display in Hope

Hope is having a blue Christmas this year. White, red and green, too.

The sights and the sounds of the season have grown amid a synchronized music and yuletide lights display on the Historic Town Square.

It launched last year on the iconic bandstand. This year, the nearby shelter house also is lit like a Christmas tree and blinking its way through holiday merriment.

Chuck Caldwell, Heritage of Hope vice president and electronics wizard, conceived and expanded the concept that he launched for $2,000 from the nonprofit organization. The expansion this year cost an additional $2,000, also funded by Heritage of Hope.

The idea sparked from his role with float decorators for Dorel Juvenile Group, where he works, for the company’s entry in the local Festival of Lights Parade. He and others have been talented enough to win the event’s top award for three consecutive years.

“We use the same (synchronization software) technology on the floats that I am using on the square,” Caldwell said.

He recalls being inspired by an extensive home-lights display he saw more than 20 years ago in Versailles. Plus, he loves the gadgetry of being a guitarist for the Beyond Hope rock band, which partly explains his inclusion of a couple edgy tunes from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and other artists ranging from John Mellencamp (“I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus”) to Brenda Lee (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”).

The display currently runs on a 30-minute loop of about eight songs from 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30. In the next few days, new shows and new songs will be added, Caldwell said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.