My husband and I drove up to Fullerton last week to see the sparkleballs. The neighbors of North Yale Avenue have been festooning their giant elms with sparkleballs for years now. With the other streets that have joined in, there must be close to a thousand sparkleballs. (If I exaggerate, it doesn’t matter. It feels like a thousand sparkleballs.) It’s as fantastical as I remember, even if they’ve lost a few of their dear trees over the years. Don Bales has built a new giant sparkleball even more amazing as the last one. Jeff’s house is still the most festive. A new city councilman lives in the neighborhood! And it was still fun to see the street during daylight, to admire the feat of wiring that makes this whole show sing. I marvel at a neighborhood that can work together to make this beautiful thing. To learn more read here :)
I’ve received more than a few emails over the years saying that sparkleballs are old friends on American campgrounds. That’s always made me wonder if the inventor of sparkleballs was part of the camping scene or if it’s simply how the craft spread, by travelers going from campsite to campsite. It’s fun to share a new camp photo from the Laber family along with some oldies. If you have a camper sparkleball, please share! And psst: how great would a solar sparkleball be for camping :)
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sparkleball how-to posts:
It’s time! Let’s kick off the 2015 Holiday Prep Season with Amber Merefield’s Sparkleball Tree. Here’s how she does it: for each ball, Amber makes a hanger out of two lengths of chain, s-hooks, zipties, and a swivel snap hook. Outside, she uses a combo of ladder and tree-climbing (“like Tarzan”) in the 20-30ft dogwood tree, which is wrapped in white lights. Each sparkleball is hung with several releasable zip-ties. The zip-ties aren’t tightened completely to give the sparkleballs play in the wind. Once sparkle balls are in place, Amber runs the electricity, using custom-length extension cords made of SPT-2 wire and vampire plugs. A custom “wire harness” at the base of the tree sends a separate cord and plug to each ball. We love the effect of sweeping white tree and red balls, but Amber says she has plans to add green and blue balls this year.
See more photos of Amber’s 70,000 light display on The Lights on Taunton Road Facebook page. In person, you can see the display at 5 Taunton Road, Medford NJ. Amber Merefield is a regular contributor on Planet Christmas forums. (photo: Medford Sun)
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