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Ballinger band director creates Christmas light show in his neighborhood

With thousands of lights and almost a year of preparation, this band director made his display a local attraction.

BALLINGER, Texas — Ballinger Middle School Band Director Matthew Cleveland has created a street-wide light show for Ballinger residents to enjoy. 

Cleveland said he got the idea 15 years ago and felt like now was the best time to do it. 

“Each individual light costs 25 cents a piece and there are 6,000 lights. After adding all the wiring and controls, I kind of lost track of the exact cost now,” Cleveland said. 

He has been buying lights and programming them to holiday tunes since January. By Thanksgiving, every light was set up and ready. 

Traditional holiday tunes can be heard, as well as a few songs sent in from his fans. He also included some of his own music arrangements to the display to give it a personal touch.

The Christmas light display began as something only in his yard at his home. Until his next door neighbor, Martha Beimer, had the idea to spread the holiday cheer to include her and other neighbors in the display. Now almost the entire street is a part of the  show. 

"He did such a good job and he was talking about doing more and I said you're welcome to spill over into my yard and sure enough he did. He is so smart and so talented," Beimer said. 

Cleveland said every time he comes home from work, he sees cars parked outside his home enjoying the display he created and that makes him happy.

People who decide to check out the display can go to North 8th Street in Ballinger after dark and turn to 106.7 FM on the radio dial to listen to the music that goes along with the display.

If you don’t have a radio, there’s a button outside his home for anyone to press and watch and hear the magic happen.