Local News

Yale Loop ‘Sparkle Balls’ Brighten the Holiday Season

In 2002, Don Bales took 50 clear plastic Solo cups and using a small soldering iron, burned holes and used the melted plastic to connect the adjacent cup. He continued in this fashion to create a plastic ball. Then using a string of miniature Christmas tree lights, he inserted them from the bottom of each cup to light the ball. When his neighbors saw the new Christmas display, Robert Pillon, along with Jeff Proud wanted to build some for their homes.

In 2004 Robert and Bill Courtney approached Don, wanting to expand the balls to include the whole street. Jeff Proud and Murph Pierce joined Don and began impromptu classes on the construction techniques. Thus began a weekly ritual consisting of watching Monday Night Football and making ‘sparkle balls.’ The group began to expand with Bobbie McCoy and Jeff Michaels as more and more neighbors began joining in on the fun.

This grew each year and has evolved into an annual display that includes most of the Yale residences. The homeowners each build and/or buy the materials to decorate their homes at whatever level they want. Each contributes $50 to help obtain a powered high lift platform from American Rentals in Bellflower. Beginning on Black Friday, Bob Ford coordinates a team of residents to begin the installation. Wires are strung, those on the high lift hang the balls and wrap many of the trees along Yale.

Finally, a power drop is fed to each home to light the display for all to enjoy. People who have heard about the Yale Loop ‘Sparkle Ball’ display come from a wide area of Southern California and yet many who live in Fullerton are surprised when they discover this hidden treasure. Entering north on to Yale at 801 East Chapman, a short left and right turn hides the display from Chapman Avenue.

While this began as a local project for the Yale residents, it has recently been expanding to Princeton Circle and other streets in the surrounding area. Who knows, in years to come, all of Fullerton could, as in Paris France, become known as ‘The City of Lights.’