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Brock home brightens season with 130,000 lights
Alicia Romero and her daughter Aryanna look in amazement at all the lights Friday night at the Brock family house on Mercedes across from Union West Park. - photo by HIME ROMERO
All that 12-year-old Kayla Terry could do Friday night as she stood in the glow of the 130,000-plus Christmas light display at Dale Brock’s Manteca home was marvel.

With the 40-foot-tall  Christmas trees fashioned from strings of lights jutting into the night sky, and the intricate detailing of the light arrangement on full display, Terry stood there with her family and soaked in the entire Christmas scene as it was presented – pacing back and forth along the perimeter of the home as onlookers began to flood the normally quiet street.

While it wasn’t her first time at the home, she said that every year she catches something that she missed when visiting in the past.

“I come every year, and I love seeing all of the lights and the shapes and the colors,” Terry said. “The first time I came I thought it was amazing, and it keeps getting better every year.”

Brock – who spends his days as a construction worker for PG&E – and his two brothers and their respective families help him annually erect the display that includes massive 40-foot-tall structures that at night resemble Christmas trees and the elevated railroad track that runs throughout the entire yard.

A friend that works as an electrician helped him install 27 individually-dedicated circuit breakers to safely operate the massive light show. A total of 15 switches need to be turned on in order to activate all of the lights. While his work as a PG&E employee entitle him to a discount, he has noted that it only “helps out” with offsetting the extreme cost of running that many lights for the entire month of December.

But it’s a small price to pay for a man that cherishes Christmas because it brings families closer together and reminds them of what is truly important in the world.

“I love Christmas because it’s a time about family, and doing these things together as a family is what really makes it great,” noted Brock in an interview last season. “We just welcomed another grandson into the family, so hopefully when he’s a little bit older he’ll be able to carry on what has become a family tradition.”

And setting up the enormous display isn’t an easy task.

Thanks to blueprints and individually numbered light strands Brock knows when he pulls the plethora of boxes out every year where everything will eventually end up. Getting everything in place and putting up the sky towers that make the display visible from both Union Road and Yosemite Avenue requires the help of his brothers.

It isn’t uncommon for work on the organization and the construction to begin as early as September.

The end result, however, brings thousands of people down the quaint residential street each December to see how the determination of one man with a vision can manifest itself into something that brings complete strangers together with an awe-filled sense of wonder.

Chris Adams spent Friday night pacing around the house with his four-year-old son Peyton – who stared up at the elaborate display and pointed out the various facets that he enjoyed.

“I was taking him around our neighborhood showing him the lights, and he liked them, so I thought I would take them to the best light display I know of,” Adams said. “I used to come to see this, and it’s cool to be able to bring my son to see it.”

To reach the Brock home starting at Yosemte and Main, travel west on Yosemite to Union Road. Turn left on Union . Then take the second street on the right, which is Parkview Street (if you’ve reached Wawona you’ve gone too far) and then turn right on Mercedes Avenue across from Union West Park.