In July, Sean Meighan was working on leveling his yard when a passerby commented that the retaining wall he built looked like the side of a ship. Meighan was inspired and four months later, he …
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In July, Sean Meighan was working on leveling his yard when a passerby commented that the retaining wall he built looked like the side of a ship.
Meighan was inspired and four months later, he completed construction of a 40-foot-long pirate ship in his front yard.
“Why did I do this? Because it’s COVID and I don’t want to sit inside,” he said. “I like building things."
Since finishing construction and adding decorations, lights and fake cannons, Meighan, 69, has invited families to bring their children to play on the ship at his home, which is just east of South Quebec Street in northern Douglas County.
Meighan, a software engineer, started doing light shows in 2012 after he wrote a computer program that allows people to animate lights in coordination with music, he said.
Meighan’s pirate ship uses this program in coordination with Halloween songs like “Monster Mash” and “This is Halloween.”
He plans to keep the Halloween show going until Thanksgiving, when he will transition to a Christmas light show. Meighan also plans to use the pirate ship as a sleigh, complete with a Santa and reindeer. Music will change to all different types of Christmas music and more lights will be added, he said.
Meighan moved to his home in December and chose the location largely because he doesn’t have neighbors on one side. In the past, Meighan has worried about traffic and parking for his large-scale light shows.
“Some people have football, some people have other hobbies,” he said. “For me, I build a light show.”
One of the biggest reasons Meighan puts on these shows is because of the joy it brings people, he said.
“I’ve had so many people thank me for bringing some happiness to this year,” he said. “I love how kids beam and smile when they see it.”
Meighan, who lives with his 19-year-old son, also enjoys the challenge of building things. When his son attended Highlands Ranch High School, he and another engineer friend would help design the props for the marching band, he said.
All he asks of visitors at the pirate ship is that they wear masks and gloves while on the ship. Meighan also frequently disinfects the ship to be mindful about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The show begins at his Acres Green home, 881 Altair Drive, at 5 p.m. every night and goes until 9. Meighan plans to keep the show going until mid-January. After that, he thinks he will keep the ship up and use it as a front porch.
“It’s a piece of furniture now,” he said. “I have this beautiful view of the park.
“I could have been watching Netflix for four months. But instead, I started building this thing.”
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