Clint Gabbert, 18, of Craig, has been spending his week setting up a display of lights in front of his house north of town in honor of the Fourth of July. Gabbert plans on the display being up and running by Sunday, and it will continue until July 4.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Clint Gabbert, 18, of Craig, has been spending his week setting up a display of lights in front of his house north of town in honor of the Fourth of July. Gabbert plans on the display being up and running by Sunday, and it will continue until July 4.

Local teen prepares display in honor of Fourth of July

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Gabbert estimates he will have 30,000 to 40,000 lights on display for his Fourth of July show.

Clint Gabbert, 18, is not your average teenager.

His idea of a hobby is spending countless hours stringing together lights and tinkering with a computer program to set the display to music.

All of that work just for the reward of seeing the reaction of people who come to see his displays.

December 2008, around Christmas time, was Gabbert's second year turning his family's home north of Craig into a dancing holiday light show.

This time around, he's setting his sights on a different holiday.

Gabbert is following his Christmas spectacular with another show, this one tailored to the Fourth of July.

His display, which includes 30,000 to 40,000 lights, begins its run Sunday.

"This has a meaning," said Gabbert, a 2009 Moffat County High School graduate. "It's Independence Day."

The centerpiece of his Christmas show was a giant 30-foot Christmas tree. The display drew a crowd.

"Christmas Eve, they were lined (up) - probably 100 cars lining the street," he said. "There was this huge crowd."

The arrangement for the Fourth of July show will be similar to what Gabbert's display was at Christmas.

However, at the center this time are two 20-foot poles with lights; much of the other set pieces will stay the same to save time.

That's not to say he isn't putting a lot of effort into his upcoming show.

Gabbert estimated he will have almost 100 hours worth of work into this show, and when it's all said and done, he'll have spent about "50 to 60 hours on the computer."

The work adds up to a lot of "sleepless nights," he said.

The light show is something Gabbert thinks about constantly - the show's music, in particular.

Lights, Gabbert said, are one of two important pieces to his show. Music is the other.

He has his own radio station - 107.7 FM - that has a limited range but allows visitors on his street to listen to the music he has picked out for the show.

The displays are choreographed to the music.

He said he's spent hours on iTunes trying to track down a single tune that he doesn't know the name of.

"Any song I hear, I look at it from that point of view," Gabbert said. "It's subliminal I've done it so much."

But all of the time and work is for a purpose.

Gabbert said it's in honor of the Fourth, one of his favorite holidays.

He said he hopes to put out a collection plate to collect money from visitors, which he then will donate to a local charity.

Although the light show premiers Sunday, Gabbert said it won't be the finished product.

He will be adding songs to the display throughout next week.

The best night to visit, Gabbert said, will be the Friday, July 3.

On the Fourth of July, a Saturday, he will be attending the fireworks display in Craig, but he will have his show up and running when he returns home.

Anyone interested in getting to his house to see the display should head north on Colorado Highway 13, until reaching mile marker 105.

Shortly after will be County Road 103, on the left side of the roadway. His house is visible from the highway.

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