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Robolights in Palm Springs Continues to Glow

Photo: rebeccasnyder.com

Photo: rebeccasnyder.com

Kevin Ayala, Reporter

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Robolights is the name given to a 4.5-acre art display created by Palm Springs resident Kenny Irwing Jr. in order to share his work with the world. For the holiday season, Irwing decks out his robots with lots of lights and opens the display to the general public. The display has been running for over 30 years, starting in 1986, when Irwing was just 12 years old. It has grown every year since then and now fills his entire property; but, he hasn’t been without significant obstacles along the way.

Early in the lifetime of this attraction, neighbors and other residents complained about the problems that the increased flow of people brought, like heavy traffic and trash left in the neighborhood. While neighbors have slowly been growing warmer to the display, the city of Palm Springs had serious concerns, heavy enough to warrant a lawsuit in 2016 that was finally settled in January 2017. This lawsuit compelled many changes, including a third-party company that would help with traffic and trash, paid for by Irwing.

Other financial troubles have also plagued the attraction. By nature, the production is very expensive. In fact, it almost did not open this year because the costs were enormous compared to the donations received. Fortunately, Irwing’s family volunteered to help with funding and the monument was able to continue for another year, allowing admirers from all over the globe another chance to explore the property.

Robolights is an amazing experience, filled with otherworldly sights and strange creations. Jasmine Fernandez ‘18 said, “There is so much to look at that it’s hard to focus on just one thing.”

Robolights is located at 1077 E. Granvia Valmonte in Palm Springs. Visitors will feel a sense of awe at the sheer magnitude of the creations. Anyone who can attend is encouraged to donate money towards the ongoing upkeep of the facility in order to keep it running as long as possible. As Sterling Dall (‘18) said, “It really lights up your day!”

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