Holiday decorations, and especially lights, have become an enduring part of the Christmas holiday season. For many baby boomers, we’ve watched the celebration of lights become more of a competitive call to duty each year. As kids, a lot of us sat stoically – sometimes sullenly – in the backseat of the family sedan as the family drove slowly through neighborhoods with glittering outdoor displays.
The online news site, BuzzFeed, and Old Navy have taken a look at what they believe are the Top 10 most festive places in the USA. If your holiday lights put these examples to shame, click here to enter your decorations for a chance to win $10K from Old Navy.
Share photos of your holiday decorations, and we will show a random selection of them here at BoomerCafé.com. Email to Lights@BoomerCafe.com. But, sorry, there’s no prize money.
1. Silver Dollar City In Branson, Missouri
Silver Dollar City has been named by USA Today, CNN, and The Travel Channel as one of the country’s best places to go during the holidays. There’s a 5-story tall “special effects” tree, a light parade, a performance of “A Christmas Carol,” and heaps of other rides and attractions. An estimated 4 million lights are used.
2. Dyker Heights In Brooklyn, New York
Dyker Heights becomes “Dyker Lights” in December because the light displays attract more than 150,000 visitors every year. Some families in the neighborhood are known to adorn their yards with up to 30,000 lights.
3. Hampden In Baltimore, Maryland
The moment it gets cold outside, the lights go up and 34th street in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood and transforms into a real Miracle on 34th street! The tradition started in 1967, which means this tradition has been around for a whopping 65 years.
4. Sunrise In Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mark and Kathy Hyatt are one of America’s most famous families during the holidays. Every year, they outfit their home on 11201 N.W. 14 Street with more than 130,000 holiday lights and figurines (a process which can take up to three months).
5. Warm Beach Camp In Stanwood, Washington
Warm Beach Camp not only has more than 1 million Christmas lights spread over 15 acres and Polar Express train rides, but it also offers pony rides, a petting farm, and “Bruce The Spruce,” the talking Christmas tree.
6. Peacock Lane In Portland, Oregon
The residents of Peacock Lane have been decorating their houses with lights since the 1920s, and they show no sign of slowing down. But truthfully, they don’t actually have a choice: whenever a family buys a house on the lane, they sign a contract stating they acknowledge it is their duty to partake in the tradition.
7. The River Walk In San Antonio, Texas
The River Walk is a huge tourist attraction all year long but during the holidays it’s known for hosting the Fiesta de las Luminarias. The area swells with cheer as 122,000 lights shine on the walkway, boats, and nearby buildings, and as many as 150,000 people have flocked down south from all over the world to experience the magic.
8. Clifton Mill In Ohio
Clifton Mill is known to bring its “A game” when it’s time for holiday decorating: every year, the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges are dressed up with more than (a whopping!) 3.5 million lights. And if you find yourself feeling famished while taking in the views, there are BBQ Pork Sandwiches available for purchase.
9. The Bellingrath Gardens In Theodore, Alabama
For the holidays, the 65 acres of The Bellingrath Gardens is the proud home to over 3 million lights and more than 950 displays. To pull off such an incredible feat, 7,700 extension cords, 100,000 twist ties, and 377,000 replacement bulbs are needed.
10. The Arizona Celebration Of Lights In Phoenix, Arizona
But in truth, nobody takes Christmas more seriously than the people of Phoenix: each year, a mile-long stretch of 99th Avenue is outfitted with more than a whopping 7 million lights. And to make things even sweeter, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Salvation Army and other charities.
Story credit: BuzzFeed.com