The party isn't rockin' this year for the home that hosted one of the country's most beloved Halloween light shows.
Kevin Judd made his Riverside, Calif., home "sing" to the soundtrack of LMFAO's infectiously catchy "Party Rock Anthem," using specially programmed, synchronized LED-lit animations that would twinkle and flash to the beat. A YouTube video (which you can see at the bottom of this article) of the "rocking" light display went viral, driving thousands from across the country to flock to the home for the daily light show in the weeks preceding Halloween 2011.
But before the show could resurrect for a long-awaited 2012 run, the party was shut down by an angry neighborhood HOA.
"I was disappointed," Judd, the homeowner and creative lighting genius behind the now-infamous "Party Rock Anthem Halloween House," told AOL Real Estate. Judd, 40, lives at the home with his wife, Amber, and their two children (all pictured at left). "They didn't even give me a chance to work it out with them and with my neighbors. We just got a letter in the mail addressed to the whole community outlining a new set of holiday rules that basically shut us down."
The letter, sent by the Euclid Management Homeowners Association in Upland, Calif., was particularly disheartening to Judd because he had spent five years conceptualizing and perfecting the light display and its complex programming.
"It takes 10 to 12 hours just to program one minute of song," Judd said. Additionally, the display took eight months to actually create and build, he said.
On the fame that his home garnered, Judd revealed that he had never dreamed that this "hobby" would have given birth to a viral music video covered by "Good Morning America," NBC, the Los Angeles Times and blogs across the world. ("Like many of you out there, I hate that song," blogger Matt Hickman said in a post. "But this viral video in question is nothing short of mesmerizing.") Judd said that he never fathomed that his synchronized light display would draw an average of 2,000 people a day -- from across the country -- to camp out in front of his family's house to catch the show. By 6 p.m. each night, the streets were crowded, and latecomers would be forced to stand far back. (See the gallery below.)
Judd said that even his neighbors enjoyed the show, with some enterprising families making a quick buck from visitors.
"Many neighbors liked it, they would come out to watch every night," Judd said. "Some of my neighbors would even capitalize on the whole thing! They'd sell parking spaces, food and trinkets."
And the City of Riverside couldn't have been happier. Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge even invited Judd and his family to City Hall in 2011 to thank them for the positive national attention that their display had brought to the city. Loveridge offered to assist Judd in the streamlining of cleaning efforts, traffic control, porta-potties and police presence during the 2012 festivities.
But not if Judd's HOA has anything to do with it. In March 2012, the HOA cracked down on the neighborhood with a new set of "Holiday Display" rules, allegedly because of a number of neighbor complaints. According to the HOA's letter, the new rules outlaw "extreme" holiday light displays across the entire neighborhood -- although Judd is convinced that the rules were drawn up to specifically target his family's home.
When AOL Real Estate contacted the Euclid Management Homeowners Association, a representative of the organization said that no one was available to comment on the matter.
But have these new rules stopped Judd? Maybe -- but maybe not.
"I was thinking about just putting some pumpkins on my lawn this year, but people keep telling me to just forget the HOA and have another display this Halloween. What's the worst they could do?" said Judd, who has since started up his own business selling synchronized lighting display software and equipment. "So ... I'm thinking about it."
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