Wake County News

Raleigh cab driver known for decking taxi out in Christmas lights has passed away

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - The streets of Raleigh will be darker this Christmas season after the passing of the man known for his taxi cab covered in more than 11,000 Christmas lights.

Dwight Robinett passed away last weekend at WakeMed, according to Dave Harris, music director with the Raleigh Ringers and one of Robinett's friends, who emailed CBS 17 to share the sad news. Harris said he wasn't sure of the details surrounding his friend's death, but that Robinett had no local family and he wanted to share the news with the community.

Harris told CBS 17 that not only did his friend enjoy decking out his Taxi Taxi Toyota Prius in thousands of Christmas lights, but that he was once a musician with the North Carolina Symphony and was a recording engineer with many local musical groups, including the Raleigh Ringers.

"Dwight will be greatly missed," Harris said.

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CBS 17 spoke with Robinett about his well-known taxi a week before Christmas in 2017.

He said for the past three years he had decorated his taxi cab instead of decorating his house. Lighting up his taxi took more than 40 hours, but it was worth it.

"I’ve gotten some great responses. People seem to love it. They say it makes them feel better," said Robinett in 2017.

He said last year that it was an evolving project as he learned what worked and what didn’t.

Last year, Robinett added wheel lights to his ride. He said it was something his fans had definitely noticed.

"I actually got pulled over five times. Raleigh police lit me up, pulled me over, and asked if they could take my picture," Robinett said.

He said last year that the only real downside was all the attention his cab got during the holidays - it kind of made his day job a little more difficult.

"You know how people wave down a cab? Well, everyone is waving at me now. So I have no idea who needs a cab and who’s just waving," said Robinett.

Robinett would keep his lights on until the 12th day of Christmas.

Only time will tell if any other local taxi driver will continue Robinett's Christmas light tradition.


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