The Christmas Light Show
Factual History and Ongoing Conscerns

The Christmas Light Show is a local tradition which has been produced at a private property off of Woolley Road without incident for 11 years. Producers took the 2017 season off to develop a plan for addressing concerns expressed by Wall Township. The townships concerns were:

It was clear that the above logistical setup was cost prohibitive for the producers and the charity.

On April 2nd 2018, RAISING4 INC. sent a letter to Wall Township detailing a plan to change the format of the show and alleviate their concerns. The key elements of the plan were:

On June 12th 2018, RAISING4 INC. received an email reply from the Wall Township Police Department stating that the show would not be permitted on Woolley Road, "due to public safety concerns and public inconvenience."  Producers of the show consulted with an attorney and a municipal professional engineer to examine the plan to determine that any public safety concerns were adequately addressed. Furthermore, for the 2016 season, the producers received unanimous written consent from all neighbors on the adjacent streets.

RAISING4 INC. secured a meeting on August 28th 2018 with township officials to discuss the June 12th email with the assistance of our attorney. The two-and-a-half-hour meeting concluded after a good-faith exchange of ideas, and accordingly, the Township agreed to review the proposed plan again. Shortly after the meeting our attorney received an email from the police department asking us to provide potential bus routes and parking locations. Within three days, on August 31st, 2018, we provided the following options and information to the township immediately:

Two weeks later, on September 14th, the police department responded to our latest parking and shuttle bus options with a short email from the Wall Township Police Department concluding, without specific reasons or supporting evidence, that Police Department "will not recommend having this event on Woolley Road due to public safety concerns, public inconvenience, a burden on public resources, and because this residential area is not designed to accommodate this type of event”. Follow up verbal and written inquiries by the RAISING4 INC. attorney, to ascertain evidence for the police departments claims, received no substantive response.

Since this past April, RAISING4 INC. had been working with the community to secure low cost or donated services for bussing, insurance, parking, visual barriers, and lighting. As a reference, RAISING4 INC. was able to secure a detailed multimillion-dollar insurance policy for all aspects of the event for $470. This supports our position that the event is low risk and involves minimal safety concerns.

To be sure, RAISING4 INC. never received any specific reasons or evidence of any kind from Township officials to support their unfounded claims that the show, in its new format, will be a threat to public safety, a public inconvenience, a burden on public resources, and that the location cannot support the event. The event was produced in the same neighborhood for 11 years without incident and the new plan is substantially more manageable.  We have previously secured unanimous written consent from the neighbors and there is no evidence that event needs to be, or is, a burden on public resources. Furthermore, the township offered no option for us to offset the stated burden on public resources (no ability to discuss volunteers, collaboration, private security, etc…), additionally, in 2016 RallyCap Sports was billed $2,000 for policing services at The Christmas Light Show by Wall Township. The prohibition of the 2018 show has come without supporting evidence, we feel the claims are purely subjective and influenced substantially by a desire to move the show to Wall Township property and rename the show to The Holiday Light Show. Our discussions in 2018 have not been representative of a collaborative effort to find the most feasible solution for both parties.

In conclusion, RAISING INC. has worked tirelessly to relaunch a local and free Christmas tradition that has brought joy to thousands of families and financially supported a worthy local charity. We are deeply saddened that the Township’s desire to rename the show and move it to township property outweighs their desire to work on solutions to allow our celebration of Christmas to continue at its historic location of 11 years.

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