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Opening day of 'Celebration of Lights' in Oshkosh

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OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Every year radiant lights dance across the night sky in Oshkosh.

For Becky Remington, it's the start to the holiday season, "We're looking for a good way to kick off the holiday spirit."

For Brandon Zschaechner, it's about family, "We're here for our daughter, Paisley, it's her second time coming here."

But for the event's chair member, Leon Thompson, it's something different.

"My buddy started this, Tom Stefani, and he had brain cancer," Thompson told FOX 11.

Thompson held back tears, as he talked about taking over the lights after his friend passed away several years ago.

"I wanted to keep it going for him, that's basically the reason," Thompson said.

And no doubt he kept it going as nearly a million light bulbs were put to place and 45,000 people are expected to show up every year.

Some new attractions include a pixel display; cars can park in front of it and turn the radio channel to 88.3 FM for music that goes along with it. The show is 8-minutes long.

Thompsan said, "We started an animation committee this year and they built this and then the bridge is brand new; it's all pixel lights as well."

The lights weren't the only exciting element on opening day, some enjoyed the warm weather.

Zschaechner said, "It's not snowing and we knew we were going to be in line for Santa and its beautiful to just stand out here and see the lights."

Watching the lights, it's what Thompson hopes everyone gets a chance to do

"It's a labor of love for a lot of people, a lot of people did a lot of work to put this together."

The light show ends December 31st. Free days will be offered as well.


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