STAMFORD, Conn. -- Sixty thousand bulbs and counting. That's the number of lights Tony Pampena, aka "Tony Christmas," has used to decorate his Stamford home for the holidays.
That, plus a little bit of elf magic -- and at last 900 hours of work -- got him on "The Great Christmas Light Fight," an ABC show that has residents across America competing for the most outlandishly decorated home.
Though he didn't win -- the show aired Monday, Dec. 12 -- Pampena, a Greenwich firefighter, has never done it for the money. It was fun to be on the show and be recognized, he said. But he really does it as a labor of love. In fact, he has been doing it for 31 years.
"It sounds corny to say, but I love everything about Christmas," he said. "I'm a kid at heart."
When he first started decorating, he had maybe 5,000 lights, then 6,000, until he added on and on -- and on -- to almost every square inch of his Lewelyn Road home. Each year there is something new to tinker with.
What remains the same: the pure joy and smiles on everyone's faces -- his included -- when folks visit. And, anyone and everyone is invited.
The home, at 68 Lewelyn Road, is open until Sunday, Jan. 7, from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. with Pampena often in attendance. To make your visit sweeter, there are even free candy canes.
Visitors are invited to park their cars and walk around to the backyard for a full view of the whole display.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. there will be a special appearance by Santa. Go to the home's Facebook page HERE .
And though Pampena's been asked many times, no donations are accepted. "You can donate by spreading the word," he said. "The more people that enjoy this, the more that makes me happy."
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