Eric Wilzig, a professional magician, spent thousands of hours building props and organizing lights for his Oceanside home. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Taylor Swift seems to be everywhere lately — she’s even on Eric Wilzig’s front lawn in Oceanside this holiday season.

An oversized Christmas light bulb with a cartoonlike face that Wilzig has dubbed “BulbSwift” lip syncs “Shake It Off” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” while a pixel-light display features Swift’s face, including her signature red lipstick, lighted up nearby on a 25-foot-tall holiday tree. Swift’s boyfriend, Kansas City football player Travis Kelce, flashes on a screen mounted on the house.

The free, Swift-themed holiday show runs daily from 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 27, turning the sidewalk in front of 160 East Lexington Ave. into an impromptu dance party as elementary school girls warble along. Wilzig serves free hot chocolate from coffee urns; on a recent Saturday he gave out 300 cups, he says. He asks that people who enjoy the show donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, based in Rye Brook, N.Y. He says that he has so far raised $4,000 of his $6,000 goal.

“Any chance we get, we come over,” says Jaime Kober, 46, a teacher from Oceanside who comes with her daughter, Abigayle, 4.

She asks me to drive by it every single day. People are coming from all over to see what he’s done here.”

— Jaime Kober, 46, of Oceanside 

“It’s so much more impressive than I thought it would be,” says Caroline Giretti, 39, a nurse from Oceanside who visits with her daughter, Lily, 8. Says Lily: “It’s amazing.”

20,000 LIGHTS

Eric Wilzig installed a Taylor Swift-inspired musical light show outside...

Eric Wilzig installed a Taylor Swift-inspired musical light show outside his home in Oceanside. Credit: Jeff Bachner

“Tonight’s show features over 20,000 lights individually programmed to every beat of music,” begins the audio loop that repeats every 25 minutes; people who don’t want to exit their cars can listen by tuning their radios to 98.5 FM. The display also includes 200 extension cords, PVC pipes, 100 Mickey Mouse ears, cutouts of dreidels and menorahs, three fog machines and a shooting sparkler, Wilzig says.

Wilzig, 31, is a magician/illusionist who has appeared on Season Four of “America’s Got Talent” in 2009 and works as a resident magician for Madison Square Garden, performing at Knicks and Rangers games and special events. “My job is to make people wonder,” he says.

Thus, he is into stage lights and special effects, he says. During the pandemic, he “started getting into the crazy Christmas lights,” studying YouTube videos and joining Facebook hobbyist groups. Last year was his first light show; this year, he asked his fans on his Extreme Oceanside Instagram page what they wanted to see or hear.

“The overwhelming response was Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift,” he says. In between Swift songs, he intersperses hits from Disney, songs from “The Greatest Showman” and some traditional holiday tunes.

The show is programmed to start and end each night. “When I’m not performing shows elsewhere, I’m always out here greeting people,” Wilzig says.


Neighbors view the Taylor Swift-inspired musical light show installed by...

Neighbors view the Taylor Swift-inspired musical light show installed by Eric Wilzig outside his home in Oceanside. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Wilzig did all this while also having a newborn — he and his wife, Eliana, 29, a gymnastics coach, have one daughter, Dove, now 6 months old. “People were shocked at how I could have enough time,” Wilzig says. “The nights are long. The baby goes to bed at 7ish these days and she sleeps all night.” She even sleeps through the Taylor Swift show, he says.

This is not the first time Wilzig has entertained the community outside his home. On Halloween for the past three years, he and Eliana put on a free magic show, also raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He chose that charity because a cousin had leukemia when she was a young adult. “She’s a survivor now, she has three kids,” he says.

Suddenly, the huge sparkler lights up the night.

“Did you see the fire?” a delighted Roisin Wall, 4, asks her mother, Christine, 38, of Lynbrook, who works for a health tech company. The Walls came to the show recently with Roisin’s aunt, Colleen Burke, 31, a consultant visiting from Saratoga Springs, and Roisin’s grandmother Nancy Burke, 68, of Rockville Centre. It was Colleen's idea to come after seeing the light show posted on a Facebook page; she’s seen Swift in concert at least seven times since 2009 when she was in high school on Long Island.

Lee Eitelberg, 35, of Oceanside, who works in sales, drinks a hot chocolate while his daughter, Hayden, 9, is engrossed in the show. Hayden says she thinks if Taylor Swift knew about the display, “she would be very happy and grateful.”

“We would love it if Taylor Swift recognized us,” Wilzig says, dreaming the dream. “That would probably raise a lot of money.”

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