Old Bridge Christmas light display will light up Saturday
OLD BRIDGE — The only thing that could keep the show from going on Saturday night at a controversial Central Jersey holiday light display would be the weather.
Thomas Apruzzi, whose 70,000 light display at his home on Central Avenue in Old Bridge was threatened to be darkened by a $2,000-per-night bill from the township to pay for extra police needed to patrol the event, told MyCentralJersey.com he will turn the display on at 6 p.m. Saturday night, weather permitting.
That could be a problem.
"The weather in Old Bridge will just start to turn 'yucky' on Saturday at 6 p.m. Steady rain will push across New Jersey on Saturday, with temperatures rising from the mid-40s into the 50s overnight. Not a very pleasant or 'Christmas-y' start to December," Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Apruzzi told the news site that he will not be paying for the extra police presence and has hired a lawyer. A GoFundMe page created to pay for the extra protection continued to accept donations.
Mayor Owen Henry told the news site that Chief of Police William A. Volkert and his traffic and safety bureau has come up with a plan to keep the street open. He said an emergency appropriation will have to be approved to pay for coverage, since it's not in the township budget.
Half of the street will be used for parking and half will be used "for pedestrian safe passage behind cones," Henry told New Jersey 101.5 earlier. One of the most important things for him is that emergency vehicles have access to the site of the show and the surrounding streets.
"It's a pretty long stretch," he said. "If we had a 911 call and that ambulance or fire truck or police vehicle was delayed by 30 seconds, it's a long time if you're choking or you're having a stroke."
Apruzzi said the display will be open Thursday through Sunday nights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through New Year's Day, and daily the week of Christmas.