CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENT: Watts Up lights up neighborhood


The Neville home in southeast Crestview lights up nightly with more than 30,000 Christmas lights synchronized to music.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Neville family has a free gift for the community. Their nightly synchronized light show not only lights up their Shoal Lake neighborhood, but also the faces of all who gather in their cul-de-sac to watch the display.

Amy Neville gives all the credit to her husband Mike, a weapons standardization supervisor at Hurlburt Field, and their daughter Kaelyn, 8, who inspired the project.

“We always had a static display and I finally let him go animated,” she said. “He and my oldest daughter built most of the stuff in the front yard.”

“The stuff” features the 20-foot “mega-tree,” a dazzling 13,000-light beacon for the neighborhood, with four 6-foot brothers (2,400 lights each) and 11, 400-light “smaller brothers” clustered around it. In all, 30,000 lights, counting extraneous stars and other sparklies, dance synchronized to half-hour programs of eclectic music.

“It appeals to a wide range of tastes,” Matt Neville said. “We keep it family friendly. Our show definitely runs the gamut, from big band to jazz to hard rock. Each song is edited down to two minutes, so if you pull up and it’s not a song you like, the next one will come along quickly.”

 Kaelyn provided inspiration for the display when, soon after the family arrived in Crestview seven years ago, saw a lavish lights display while the family drove home from the city’s Christmas parade. “Big lights, Daddy!” she exclaimed. “Big lights” became the goal, and this summer, the family started planning the show they call “Watts Up Crestview.”

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