David Rosen
Jim Winder, the man behind the amazing choreographed lighting at the Helmstetler house at 3908 SW Charleston Street is busy preparing the display again this year. While testing will happen up till Thanksgiving the first official show will happen two nights after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 at 7:00pm.

UPDATE - Helmstetler house will be bathed in light and wonder again this year


See video

By David Rosen and Patrick Robinson


Organizers shared a press release with more details on the display:

On Saturday, November 24th, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Judy Pancoast will be presenting an outdoor Christmas concert at the home of Corey and Taylor Helmstetler at 3908 SW Charlestown. The public is invited free of charge, but attendees are asked to bring a donation for either West Seattle Food Bank or NW Parkinson’s Foundation.

Pancoast is visiting West Seattle as part of her third annual “The House on Christmas Street International Tour,” in support of her new CD, “Christmas with Mrs. Claus.” Concerts on the tour are performed on the lawns and in the driveways of the decorating enthusiasts who have become her biggest fans and use her music in their animated lighting displays. The Helmstetler home is well known in the area for its magnificent annual display. This is the first year that they have hosted Pancoast’s tour.

Last year West Seattle Lights collected nearly 1500lbs of food for the West Seattle Food Bank and nearly $3000 for both the Food Bank and NW Parkinson’s Foundation.

Singer-songwriter Judy Pancoast is well known among families for her four albums of original music for children and her outrageously fun family concerts. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album in 2011 for her CD, “Weird Things are Everywhere!”. Pancoast’s concert in West Seattle will feature original songs from her two Christmas CDs as well as traditional favorites and sing-a-longs and is sure to put you and your family in a festive mood for Christmas. After the concert, Pancoast invites attendees for a “meet and greet” during which she will sign autographs, pose for photos and offer CDs and tour tee shirts for sale. Ten percent of the proceeds from her sales will also benefit the West Seattle Food Bank and NW Parkinson’s Foundation.

Jim Winder, the creator and brains behind West Seattle Lights said, “I’m looking forward to having Judy do a live concert for us that will benefit our charities and bring smiles to all those who attend”.

The concert begins at 7pm on Saturday, November 24th at 3908 SW Charlestown in West Seattle. Seattle's Best Coffee will have baristas on staff at the West Seattle Lights Christmas Tree Lighting to hand out coffee and flavored creamer to onlookers to promote the opening of a Seattle's Best Coffee drive-thru only stand in the SODO area. SBC will also supply coffee for visitors on Christmas Eve.

· Additionally, SBC has donated 100 12 oz. bags of Seattle’s Best Level 3 coffee to the West Seattle Food Bank to show our appreciation for the local community.
· The new drive-thru store will be located in SODO at 2990 4th Ave. South (on 4th just South of S. Lander St.). SBC will have fast service, delicious beverages and food items, and friendly baristas, so come check us out!

Original Post
The annual display of amazing Christmas lights at the Helmsteler house at 3908 SW Charleston is, according to the lighting designer Jim Winder going to be a little smaller, with 10,000 to 15,000 fewer lights, because he felt the additional lights, "didn't add anything to the show."

Still there are new features including:

  • New snowflake tree
  • New star
  • 5 new songs

We will also be incorporating part of the neighbors house this year!!! Specifically the seven trees in front of the Conroy House just west of the Helmstetlers.

It takes about 2 full days to set up the lights, involving more than 400 extension cords, Winder said.

The shows will begin on Thanksgiving night, November 22nd and run til New Years Eve on December 31st. Testing will be conducted in the week or two prior to Thanksgiving.

On Saturday, November 24th they will have a special "Lighting Ceremony Concert" beginning at 7:00pm featuring 2011 Grammy Nominee Judy Pancoast.

You can see the full schedule for the shows on Winder's website http://www.westseattlelights.com/2010_schedule.htm

We will have "Special Shows" on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve that will run from 4:00pm til Midnight.

Winder, who begins planning the show in January following the Christmas season, waits for a light company to have a big sale and orders what he wants, then adding to the order in July.

The show features 25 songs and choreographed, animated light displays that work in tandem with the music. You can listen to the music on your radio at 101.9 FM during the shows.

He has wanted to stage a "snowball fight in lights" for some time but ran out of time this year to get it done.

Winder and the show will be featured on the Seattle Channel in a holiday special coming up in December.

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