ADJ Pars illuminate Holiday Road drive-thru
Wednesday, 6 January 2021
holiday-road-51-photo-credit-brian-dowdleHoliday Road will run through 10 January (photo: Brian Dowdle)
USA - The Holiday Road drive-thru experience in Calabasas, CA features larger-than-life festive displays and millions of Christmas lights arranged throughout a two-mile track, which families can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own car. ADJ fixtures are used extensively for the theatrical and architectural lighting of the various scenes that make up the experience, with over 300 ADJ 12P HEX IP and 7P HEX IP units spread throughout the attraction.
Holiday Road has been put together by the same creative team - Ben Biscotti, Bobby Rossi and Tony Schubert - that hosts the annual Nights of the Jack Halloween attraction. Originally launched as a walkthrough experience in 2018 and 2019, this year Nights of the Jack pivoted to a drive-thru model so that it could go ahead despite COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings in California.
Following the success of this, the creators decided to use the same venue - King Gillette Ranch – to host a totally new holiday-themed drive-thru event. The large estate, filled with mature trees and areas of open grassland, is a suitable blank canvas for the creation of magically-festive displays.
Made up of a variety of different scenes, each with their own soundtrack, the Holiday Road experience is an all-inclusive celebration of the holidays, including displays dedicated to Hannukah, Kwanzaa and every imaginable aspect of Christmas. From the Nutcracker to Santa’s workshop, snowmen to the a crib scene, all kinds of holiday traditions and imagery and combined into a non-stop display that the whole family can enjoy.
CBC Technical - a full service audio, visual and lighting solutions company based in Temecula, CA - has been responsible for supplying the lighting equipment and power distribution for Nights of the Jack since the event’s inception. It therefore made sense to bring in the same team - led by lighting designer, Michael Hoffman - to provide the lighting for Holiday Road, especially due to the time pressures for delivering this event in the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 regulations.
“It was all very last minute,” explains Hoffman, “because we were all playing ‘follow the bouncing ball’ with COVID. The organisers confirmed the event would go ahead when they’d had approval from LA county health officials, which was the Friday before Thanksgiving. We started transforming the park Thanksgiving week and the first car was on the track 4 December.
As with Nights of the Jack, the most used lighting fixture by Hoffman and his team was ADJ’s 12P HEX IP. CBC Technical invested in 30 extras units ahead of this event, which brought the total used throughout Holiday Road to 210 fixtures.
“The 12P HEX IPs were my go-to for canopy lighting of the trees,” explains Hoffman. “That was the big transition, from a lighting perspective, between Nights of the Jack and Holiday Road. Instead of highlighting the trunks of the trees, like we did at Halloween, we switched more to the canopy and upper branch structure. This created a lighter, happier environment for the holiday displays compared with the darker and more foreboding feel we went for at Halloween. The 12Ps have a lot of punch and are great for washing those large areas with nice vibrant colours.”
Michael also made use of 110 of ADJ’s 7P HEX IP fixtures. “The 7P HEX IPs have become my workhorse fixtures for lighting set piece scenic elements on outdoor projects,” states Hoffman.
Finally, Michael and his team utilised 12 of ADJ’s Ultra HEX Bar 12 linear LED fixtures for one particular scene where a specific lighting coverage pattern was required.

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