Thank goodness for my neighbor. Each year he decks his halls and the rest of his property with thousands of holiday lights. It’s a dazzling display that my family gets to enjoy viewing without having to travel far or pay the outrageously high electric bill.
Massive holiday light displays are being erected around the world right now, and the best part is that you don’t have to break the bank in order to soak up the seasonal scenery. Some of the most popular include:
California: Newport Beach is home to one of the most unique holiday light displays. The city’s “Christmas Boat Parade” delights tens of thousands of spectators each year with a flotilla of hundreds of vibrantly decorated vessels, from multimillion-dollar yachts to one-man canoes. The decked out boats glide through Newport Harbor as holiday music fills the air. The 2.5-hour parade takes place during the second week in December and runs for five consecutive nights. The last night features a free fireworks show. You can take in the festive scene without paying a dime by lining the 14-mile route on the public beaches and establishments bordering the Balboa Peninsula, the Fun Zone amusement area and Balboa Island. The homes and businesses in those areas are also bedazzled as they compete in the annual “Ring of Lights” contest. You can also take in a free light show at the historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside (roughly 50 miles away from Newport Beach). Each year the resort hosts a holiday light extravaganza featuring 3.6 million holiday twinklers, plus 400 animated figures, live reindeer, and artificial snow.
Colorado: If you are traveling to Denver for a winter ski vacation, don’t miss the “Mile High Holiday” events. They include a “Parade of Lights” which kicks off from the festively illuminated City and County Building and weaves its way through the downtown Denver area. It showcases nearly a million glittery lights, a dozen twinkling floats, soaring balloons, marching bands, and Santa Claus. All of the merrymaking is free for the entire family.