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Thread: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

  1. #1
    Registered User duke's Avatar
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    Default Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza


    Charpiats welcome all to ‘Pilot Mountain Christmas’
    by By Dean Palmer
    11.24.09 - 02:58 pm
    Like so many area residents, Thanksgiving Day is a special one for Larry and Rachel Charpiat and their family. But while others will be enjoying a turkey and all the trimmings, the Charpiats will postpone their meal for one day as they prepare to welcome old and new friends to their spectacular Christmas lights display.

    “We look forward to Thanksgiving night for this,” Rachel Charpiat explained. “Our family joins us to help open things up and then we have our big Thanksgiving meal on Friday. We all really enjoy it.”

    This marks the 43rd year that Larry Charpiat has hosted a Christmas lights display, beginning as a 19-year-old at his parents’ home in Hollywood, Fla. Throughout the years he has continued to decorate and add to his collection of lights and figures. Charpiat’s passion for decorating followed him to a new home in Kissimmee in 1985, where he custom-built a house to accommodate and highlight the still growing display.

    In 1999, he and Pilot Mountain native Rachel Beck traveled to Hawaii where the two were married. And she was gradually drawn into his enthusiasm for the lights and the response they created in others until she reached the point of sharing his unbridled enthusiasm for the annual display.

    In late 2004, Rachel Charpiat returned home to Pilot Mountain, bringing along her husband and their gigantic array of holiday lights and figurines.

    The couple has since established a local reputation for decorating their home, outbuildings and an outdoor walking trail dubbed “Santa’s Enchanted Forest.” The collection now covers some two acres and contains thousands of lights and figures. Assorted animated displays are incorporated and many of the lights are coordinated to flash in time with accompanying Christmas tunes.”

    Last year saw some 6,000 visitors sign the couple’s guest book, although Larry Charpiat estimates the number of people passing through the display at closer to 10,000. Visitors, he notes, included residents of England, China, Germany and Afghanistan as well as California, Indiana, Nebraska and Washington, D.C.

    “We’ve already heard from a lot of people who are looking forward to this year,” Rachel Charpiat said, “and we’re anxious to get started. Seeing old and new friends, it’s like a family reunion every year. We’re blessed to still be able to do this.”

    The display’s popularity has prompted the Charpiats to continue to expand. This year will feature the addition of a needed additional parking area with more than 200 tons of gravel having already been spread and more to follow. Other additions will include a newly acquired outbuilding featuring the projected image of an animated “Santa’s Orchestra.”

    With the help of ideas gathered while attending a summer Christmas lights convention in Louisville, Kentucky, several other features have been added. More animation will be featured as will the additional coordination of lights and music. Other new lights and displays will also be incorporated.

    “And,” Rachel Charpiat noted, “we’ve changed things around some to give it a different look.”

    Other additions include a golf cart, making the display handicap accessible, and lots of LED lighting.

    “We’ve been blessed with some wonderful weather while we’re working,” she continued, “and everything will be ready for Thanksgiving night.”

    The display, dubbed Pilot Mountain Christmas, is two miles east of Old U.S. 52 Bypass on N.C. 268 East. It will be lighted nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. from Thanksgiving evening through Jan. 2. There is no charge to visit the display, but donations are accepted. Additional information and a wealth of photos can be found at www.pilotmountainchristmas.com.

    “For me,” Larry Charpiat explained with a smile, “this is fun. We enjoy putting it together and we especially enjoy seeing the faces of the children and adults who visit. After 43 years, it’s still growing and I still enjoy it. And I still have so many ideas, more than I have time and money.”
    © pilotmountainnews.com 2009

    by By Dean Palmer
    11.24.09 - 02:58 pm
    Larry & Rachel Charpiat
    Pilot Mountain Christmas
    Web Site: http://pilotmountainchristmas.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pilot.m.christmas

  2. #2
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Larry.... very good!

    Was that article in the Mt. Airy news?

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    Registered User duke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Yes, it was in the Mount Airy News and The Pilot News. Dean Palmer is an excellent writer.

    http://www.mtairynews.com/pages/full...stmas%E2%80%99


    http://pilotmountainnews.com/pages/f...stmas%E2%80%99
    Larry & Rachel Charpiat
    Pilot Mountain Christmas
    Web Site: http://pilotmountainchristmas.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pilot.m.christmas

  4. #4
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    How about a little coverage?

    If so, I can drop by one night.

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    Registered User duke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    We would love some coverage. I sent information to all of the TV and local news papers and The Mount Airy News is the only coverage that we have received this year.

    If you get a chance come by, we have the Brims Grove Church Youth Group singing Christmas Carols tonight at 6PM.
    Larry & Rachel Charpiat
    Pilot Mountain Christmas
    Web Site: http://pilotmountainchristmas.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pilot.m.christmas

  6. #6
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    I'll come by one night this week.

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    Trying to behave here-NOT John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    William,

    I'll expect you to come by and video my display one evening this week also.
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

  8. #8
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Yea... no problem.

    Al, I need your 8-track camera to tape John's display. When is the best time to come by and pick it up?

  9. #9
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    William, I'll have Walter leave the camera on the porch, right next to where his CCRs used to be. Oh William, get yourself a few snowflakes while you're there. John won't miss them. He cornered the snowflake inventory for the entire world.

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    Trying to behave here-NOT John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    William, I'll have Walter leave the camera on the porch, right next to where his CCRs used to be. Oh William, get yourself a few snowflakes while you're there. John won't miss them. He cornered the snowflake inventory for the entire world.
    William,

    I'll go buy 210 D cell batteries for Al's "Missle Launcher Size 8 Track Video Recorder" that Walter will leave here. No wait, my show runs almost 20 minutes, so I'll pick up 420 batteries, since Al's camera will eat a set of 210 batteries in only 10 minutes.
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Well for a quality video, it takes some power. If John's video has a click click in the middle of the video you can be assured it was my camera. Of course Walter and the younger people have no idea what click click on 8 track tapes sound like.

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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    Al,

    For that matter, William probably wouldn't even know about the "famous 8 track click click".
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

  13. #13
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    I have some 8 tracks in storage someplace.To this day, I sometimes wait on the track change on Aerosmith's songs.

  14. #14
    Registered User duke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pilot Mountain Christmas Extravaganza

    I will look forward to meeting you. If I am not outside make sure you ring the doorbell.
    Larry & Rachel Charpiat
    Pilot Mountain Christmas
    Web Site: http://pilotmountainchristmas.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pilot.m.christmas

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