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April 23, 2019

Family faces thousands in fines for New Jersey light display

November 29, 2018
Tom and Kris Apruzzi have brought Christmas cheer and thousands of lights to Old Bridge, New Jersey for more than 15 years. (GoFundMe)

The Christmas light show must go on!

A New Jersey family has been told they must pay $3,000 in fines a night if they want to continue putting up their large and over-the-top display.

Tom and Kris Apruzzi have brought Christmas cheer and thousands of lights to the Old Bridge community for more than 15 years — but now, his critics are speaking out.

“They want me to pay for the police, they also want me to pay for shuttle service from a private parking lot and bus people in that they want me to pay for … and I’m not doing it,” Apruzzi told CBS News.

Neighbors worry about street parking, accessibility for first responders and heavy foot traffic.

Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry said he doesn’t have a choice in the matter and has to “make it safe.”

On Monday night, the mayor and town officials said the Apruzzi family must pay $2,000 a night for police coverage and $1,000 to shuttle people from the local school to come view the lights.

“If they shut me down, they’re going to have to talk to my attorney,” Apruzzi said. “This is my First Amendment right.”

He will pay for the first few nights of their light show with his family’s money — and after that, with a little help from the community.

“The Apruzzi family is so passionate about sharing their light show and dedicated to continuing the annual traditions for their neighbors as well as Homes For Our Troops, that Thomas is determined to fund the first couple nights out of his own pocket,” a GoFundMe campaign for the family read.

Nearly $3,500 of their $75,000 goal has been raised since the start of the campaign on Nov. 26.

Regardless of the surrounding controversy, The TA Sprinkler Light is set to kick off on Dec. 1.

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