Homeowners use blue lights, blow-ups in holiday displays for community enjoyment

By Corene Brisendine

Some traditions have not disappeared with Internet shopping and Black Friday. Driving around after dark and viewing Christmas lights continues to be a popular holiday activity.

“As long as people keep enjoying them, we’ll keep putting them up,” said Michael Barton.

He started putting up lights when he bought his house at 737 Frey Drive in 2006. He said every year he goes to the store and picks up whatever is on sale after the holidays to add to his collection.

“We slowly keep growing it,” he said. “We buy a little more each year.”

Barton said putting the lights up each year is a slow process, but that doesn’t stop him. This year he bought a box that coordinates the blinking and twinkling of the lights to music. He said he likes the LED lights better than the traditional incandescent lights because they are brighter and the colors are more vivid.

He is not the only one who has been adding to his collection of lights. Kevin Wall, 1320 Sharingbrook Drive, said he has been adding to his collection for more than 25 years. He said he started by just outlining his house in blue lights. Then he saw that someone had outlined the windows, and the next year outlined them, too. From there he wrapped blue lights around the bases of his trees and draped lights over his bushes next to the porch, all in blue.

Unlike Barton, Wall is very particular about his lights; he said he prefers to stick with blue.

“It felt like a ‘Silent Night’ type feel, and I just added more to it,” Wall said. “I mixed in LED lights with my old incandescent lights to add contrast.”

Last year he was visiting Dallas and found some white LED lights that were unusual. He thought they would look great in his “Silent Night” of blue. The white lights look like icicles dripping at night.

Barton and Wall live on opposite ends of town, but there are several neighborhoods on either side and in between where people can drive around enjoying the various creations homeowners have put on display.

While most people drive themselves around to see Christmas lights, this year there’s another option for those who prefer just to ride. Josh Runyan, co-owner of MHK Trolley, said he wanted people to enjoy the lights as much as he does. He rents his trolley for tours during the month of December. The tours started Dec. 3, and all of the dates before Christmas are booked, but there is still time to book tours Dec. 26-30. For more information, go to mhktrolley.com. Runyan gave his recommendations for some of the best local lights displays.

For a traditional Christmas light yard that includes a “Merry Christmas” sign on the house with red and green bushes, visit the corner of Gary Avenue and Treesmill Drive. And other houses on Treesmill feature a variety of jumping deer and frolicking snowmen. Meadowood Drive has a selection of lighted yards with bushes and trees outlined in purple, yellow green and blue. Barbara Lane has a house outlined in red. A Gumdrop Wonderland thrills on the corner of Westbank Way and Lisa Lane. A spiderweb of lights, meanwhile, criss-crosses Oregon Lane. Conrow Drive is another neighborhood lined with houses decked out in holiday lights and bushes frosted in snow that makes them look like giant fruit cakes. Nevada Street is host to a full nativity scene, and the best blow-up Christmas decorations can be found on the corner of Village Drive and Anderson Avenue.

And finally, for those venturing out on Christmas Eve, Virginia Street residents each year put hundreds of luminaries along their street.

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