Published: Dec 04, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Dec 04, 2012 07:21 PM
Looking up along Knox Street these next few weeks, you could well think a fleet of flying saucers, if not the heavenly host Itself, was descending upon Duke Park.
I saw them last year, I thought, What in the heck is glowing up there? said Julie-Lynn Austin.
Last year, there were three. This year, there are more, and still more of the colorful, spectral orbs that about 20 Duke Park neighbors spent an afternoon constructing last weekend are on the way.
They look really neat, said Bryan Love. Its a really nice effect.
Love started it, inspired by a Greensboro neighborhood where the holiday balls are an established tradition that draws seasonal visitors from miles around and a myriad of viewers via YouTube ( bit.ly/Xi5Mh1
). He said he experimented with his own version last year, and they caught a lot of attention.
We saw them do it last year and decided we wanted to, said neighbor Mike Bourquin. Last Saturday, Bourquin and Austin hosted the get-together where do-it-yourself minded neighbors put their gloved hands to fashioning balls of their own under Loves guidance.
This is going to be so bright! said 11-year-old Sean Hamilton, who was on hand with his mother, Diana Caputo. The balls are made of chicken wire, worked into more-or-less spherical form, wrapped with light string, attached to long extension cards and hoisted high into trees.
Love demonstrated his hoisting method. He tied a weight to a spool of heavy-duty fishing line and threw it up into a tree until it caught over a high limb. (Casting with a fishing rod works well, too, he said, as does a slingshot.) Tying the line to a ball that was connected to a long extension cord, he pulled the ball up, secured the line, and with the flick of a switch illuminated a glowing bundle floating against the darkening afternoon sky.
Austin and Bourquin already had three balls dangling from tall pines, and, in the next yard, Love had 10 on high. Saturday night, they made a spectral display near Washington Street. By Sunday night, the display had spread throughout the block.
Over the next couple of weeks, I think therell be more, said neighbor Sandi Gray-Terry. Theyre so great.