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Despite lawsuit, Palm Springs Robolights will shine on

File: Robolights in Palm Springs.
File: Robolights in Palm Springs.
Gerode_ via Flickr Creative Commons
File: Robolights in Palm Springs.
File: Robolights in Palm Springs.
Paul Quesnell via Flickr Creative Commons


After being at risk of shutting down, one of Southern California's most popular Christmas light displays will shine on.

Robolights has been a tradition in Palm Springs for 30 years, drawing visitors from all over the world. Artist Kenny Irwin is behind the elaborate show, which incorporates sculptures that he creates from recycled items.

But the city of Palm Springs said some of the displays were too dangerous to be on Irwin's property, and he was issued several citations, according to his attorney, Dayton Parcells. At one point, they issued a limited-entry order to prevent anyone from coming onto the property. But that didn't stop fans. 

"More people were coming out after the city told them not to,” Parcells told KPCC.

He said the city even tried to draw a comparison between the safety of Irwin's property and that of the warehouse in Oakland that caught fire and killed 36 people. Ultimately, a Riverside County judge Wednesday found that the city of Palm Springs didn't carry its burden of proof and ruled that Robolights was safe to operate.

"I'm very happy for him because this is his 30th anniversary, and he's dedicating it to his deceased father," Parcells said.  "So I'm glad that he's getting to do what he prepares all year to do and that all the people from all over the world can get to enjoy what he's created."

The lights will be on display until Jan. 6. Visitors are encouraged to bring toys that will go to Syrian refugees.