It’s hard to miss the Linneus home of Robie and Jessica Dobkins each night — just look for the house with the massive light show.
Featuring 4,500 LED and 20,000 traditional holiday lights, it is a home that even Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” would envy.
“The decorating started last year,” Robie Dobkins said. “We had some real trees out front that we decorated and we had some inflatables. We wanted to do something that the kids would remember.”
Dobkins has always dreamed of decorating a home that would be the envy of all who saw it. So when the family relocated to northern Maine just 9 miles from downtown Houlton, he knew he had the perfect location to bring his dreams to life.
So that meant doing more than placing a few strands around a tree or shrub in the front yard or outlining their home to create a gingerbread house effect.
Dobkins watched a few videos online for inspiration and decided he wanted to do something similar. Featuring massive bay windows, their South Oakfield Road home provides the perfect setting for the large LED displays.
Each window has LED lights tucked into PVC pipes for added protection. Those lights are then individually programmed into a computer to sync to any song the family desires.
Dobkins said he spent countless hours installing the lights outside the house and countless more meticulously programming each light into the computer program.
“It just started out as something fun for the kids and grew from there,” he said.
For Christmas, the show features singing Christmas trees and holiday lights. The family also put on light shows for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween.
The Dobkins’ children, 7-year-old Dean and 5-year-old Dana, have already started asking their parents what other holidays they can bring to life.
A military family who previously lived in California and Alaska before relocating to Maine in 2015, the move was a coming home for Jessica Dobkins, who grew up in Houlton. The couple met while the two were serving in the Army.
“We moved back to The County in 2015 to raise our children here,” she said. “It was actually the best decision we’ve ever made.”
The family welcomes people to come and see the show. They even have an FM transmitter that plays the music in a person’s car to get the full effect.
The show runs from 5 to 10 p.m. through New Year’s. On any given night, there are usually a handful of vehicles parked along the side of the road. The Dobkins also welcome people to park in their driveway.
“Our neighbors haven’t complained yet,” Robie Dobkins said.