Arrrrr! The pirate-themed Halloween on Ambush display opens tonight in Churchville
CHURCHVILLE, N.Y. — A Halloween display that likely will put yours to shame opens to the public tonight.
Halloween on Ambush is a massive Pirates of the Caribbean display on Ambush Lane in Churchville, with lights, music and even some pyrotechnics.
This 45-minute light show runs this weekend and next and is truly like no other.
Friday night, Oct. 20, hundreds will step into a spooky pirate town, built almost entirely by one man, Tony DeMatteo. And he builds it for a good cause.
News10NBC checked it out during a private event earlier this week, to see the display in action.
“In my front yard right now is the biggest Halloween display that we’ve developed here at Halloween on Ambush. It’s five years in the making; we get bigger every year,” Tony DeMatteo, creator of Halloween on Ambush, said.
DeMatteo lives at 15 Ambush Lane in Churchville. But starting tonight, Oct. 20, it’s officially Port Royal — complete with sea monsters, skeletons and a whole lot of special effects.
“This is strictly a hobby, I don’t have that kind of background. I get these crazy ideas in my head, and I just want to make them happen,” DeMatteo said.
DeMatteo started construction in July. Since he started five years ago, he estimates he has spent about $15,000.
“We are 100% nonprofit,” he said. “We ask for donations, but they don’t go to me.”
Instead, they go to local charities. This year, it’s the Dream Factory of Rochester.
“We are a volunteer-based organization that fulfills dreams for children with critical and chronic illnesses,” Laura Walitsky, area director for Dream Factory, said.
Donations are collected online and have already hit $20,000. But the light show itself is free to watch. There are also food trucks and, on Friday nights, some pirates in the mix.
“This is just in a normal everyday suburban neighborhood — you pull into the neighborhood and you’re like ‘what’s the big deal here’ — you turn into the corner and you’re like ‘oh my gosh.’ To see this in the daylight is unbelievable, but to see this at night is absolutely amazing,” DeMatteo said.
Dematteo does most of the design and setup by himself.
“It’s a massive undertaking, and I can tell you that I’m pretty worn down at this point in the year, but then I see the kids that show up and they’re smiling and they’re dancing … it’s like being at Disney World and that’s what makes it all worth it,” he said.
The first show starts at around 6:30 p.m., and folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. But before you leave, check out this site. That’s where you can find all the parking and traffic information, and that’s where you can donate to the Dream Factory. Dematteo also says to check out their Facebook for any weather-related updates.