CLIFTON, Ohio — People usually travel to small towns like Clifton, Ohio to get away from the bright lights and the hustle and bustle. A place made up of about 150 people and where life is usually only illuminated by the glow of the moon.
However, during the holidays everything changes.
“The Friday after Thanksgiving this sleepy little town, boom, becomes the brightest spot in any city,” says Anthony Satariano, owner of the Clifton Mill.
The boom that Satariano is referring to is the sight of over 4 million lights suddenly glowing at 6PM every night until the end of December.
“You got to be crazy to do all of this,” says Satariano.
It takes more than 3 months of work and equates to over $1400 a week on the electric bill, but seeing everyone’s face when the lights are glowing is all the payment Anthony says he needs.
The giant display has been attracting not just the attention of tourist making a drive to Clifton, but national recognition as well. Clifton Mill has finished in the top 3 in USA Today’s best holiday light displays in the country for 2 years running. Although, he’s determined to take the top spot soon.
Anthony says, “Just give me a few more lights and I’ll show them.”
Clifton Mill’s rich, vibrant lights have put this small town on the map and given Clifton a big city feel every December. Most importantly, however, the lights are helping to make the season of everyone who sees them a little brighter.
“To know that that legacy of our lights is living on and building and building and building and other people feel the same way is just awesome,” Anthony says. “I mean, to see their faces light up, especially the ones who’ve been here year after year. It wouldn’t be Christmas, they’ll tell me, without a visit to the Clifton Mill.”