Joe and Maria Vertuccio immigrated to America from Italy many years ago.
They set up shop in New York but decided it wasn’t for them, so they started saving their money and once they had enough, headed to Mesa, where they purchased 40 acres of land and started their business that became Vertuccio Farms.
In the fall, they host a festival they call “cooler days in the corn maze” with activities that draw hundreds to the farm.
But when the holiday season comes around, Bree and Daniel Dille, personal friends of the Vertuccio family, come out to play.
The Dilles have been in the holiday lighting business for over 20 years and in 2019 reached out to the Vertuccios to gauge their interest in a holiday light display over 10 acres of the farm.
Thus Lights at the Farm was born — and this year, it promises to be bigger than ever.
Lights at the Farm is a fully synchronized, walk-through holiday lightshow that opens November 19.
“There are over three million LED and RBG lights and displays, and it’s synchronized over 20-holiday songs,” Bree says. “We added half a million more lights for 2021.”
Despite the pandemic, the displays saw over 75,000 visitors at their production last year — which shocked Bree.
“I think because the displays are spread out and we encourage masking up, people were comfortable with coming out,” she says.
Because of the success of last year’s event, tickets for this year’s show have already gone on sale.
Lights at the Farm will continue to encourage masks and social distancing.
Displays this year include a light tunnel, barnyard animals, reindeer, a nativity scene and a giant bubble Christmas tree.
Bree says Vertuccio takes all the corn stalks from the fall festival maze and turns them into a 60-foot Christmas “tree.”
“It is so cool. It’s one of my favorite displays, and I also love the 20-foot ornaments that people can go into and take photos. Our whole event is synchronized, and it’s hard to choose a favorite because the whole thing is awesome,” Bree says.
She explains that when it comes to visitors’ favorite display, the America the Beautiful section is one of the most popular.
The displays are red, white and blue, and there’s a large screen that presents all of the military branches, accompanied by patriotic songs.
“It depends on the family and what they enjoy, but there’s something for everyone. It’s a lot of fun,” she says.
Not only are there plenty of twinkling lights, but there are also a variety of family-friendly activities for guests to enjoy. There’s a Christmas photo booth, holiday hay maze, mini-golf, corn hole and a petting zoo.
If you’re partial to “hitting the ice” when temperatures cool down, Lights at the Farm also sets up a synthetic ice-skating rink — it’s not real ice, but it feels like it, and guests use actual skates.
If a bonfire is more your style, there will be fire pits available for rent, complete with s’mores kits. Oh, and the most important guest of the holiday season — Santa Clause — even comes out to visit on select dates while the festival is open.
Guests can also enjoy hot cocoa, coffee, kettle corn and other sweets from the Sweet Shop, or grab a bite to eat from various on-site food trucks.
The Dille family and their team start setting up the displays as soon as the Fall Festival ends on October 31. The crews work for almost 24 hours a day for two weeks getting everything together.
Lights at the Farm is open from Nov. 19-Jan. 2. Hours are: Monday-Thursday from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 5:30-10:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person during the week and $15 on weekends.
Lights at the Farm
When: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays November 19 to January 2
Where: Vertuccio Farms, 4011 S. Power Road, Mesa
Cost: $12 per person weekdays and $15 on weekends