Tis the season for a new fundraiser and Christmas light show at Ringing Hill Fire Company: Celebrate at Applegate. Volunteer firefighters, junior firefighters, fire police and auxiliary members have all been working together since mid-August to make this project come to life in time for the holidays.
The animated Christmas light display will start November 25, 2022, and run through January 8, 2023, at Ringing Hill Fire Company, located at 815 White Pine Lane in Pottstown. The shows start at dusk and run continuously until 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
From the convenience and warmth of their cars, community members will tune into the radio station 89.9 FM to listen to Christmas songs that are synched to the show. Each show lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes and are free of charge; however, donations to Ringing Hill Fire Company are appreciated.
The light show, Celebrate at Applegate, was started by local community member Greg Sorg. He held the show at his house on Applegate Lane and the show grew and grew in popularity over the years. Only 3 or 4 cars could fit at a time to watch the show and lines would form throughout the neighborhood. To accommodate the amount of cars, Sorg approached Ringing Hill about moving the light show to the station and volunteers got to work planning. Sorg donated all his displays to Ringing Hill, which can fit about 10 to 15 cars comfortably for a front row showing.
During the show, families will see classic holiday imagery: snowflakes, Christmas trees, reindeer, snowmen, candy canes, ornaments and even singing light bulbs. In addition to Sorg’s supplies, Ringing Hill bought new imagery too.
Volunteers hand cut holes for the pixels, which are individually color-changeable lights, and put the pixels into the images. They built props out of wood and set them up on the roof or ground level. Volunteers staked down and sandbagged ground props to keep them in place, and also set up props on the roof, which needed sandbags as well. Finally, all the wiring needed to be completed to link all the pixels together for the show.
Even though Ringing Hill volunteers started building the props in August, they have actually been planning and prepping for the past year and a half.
“It was really a team effort between all the volunteers,” said President Bud Lightcap.
While it will be easier to set up the light display next year, Lightcap says they are interested in growing it and adding to it each year to make it better and better.
Ringing Hill Fire Company will use the donations from the show to buy firefighter equipment, which are made to meet the dimensions of each person. It’s not only the helmet, coat, pants and boots that need to be purchased, but also the self-contained breathing apparatus and mask, portable radio and charger, gloves, flashlight and more.
The fire company also hopes that Celebrate at Applegate will spread awareness and bring new volunteers.
“The more people who see the display, the more exposure Ringing Hill will get,” said Lightcap. “Maybe they’ll decide to join the fire company and help us out.”
More community members are always needed to volunteer and it doesn’t have to be in a firefighter or fire police role. Auxiliary members and support staff are needed to organize community events and fundraisers such as weekly bingo, the Santa Run and the Easter Egg Candy Sale. Additionally, extra help is needed to clean trucks, cook and manage the kitchen during events, and maintain the grounds.
No prior experience is necessary to join, and training and gear are provided. To volunteer at Ringing Hill Fire Company, visit https://JoinRingingHill.org/contact/.