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Festival of Lights

December 18, 2013

My boyfriend, his brother, and his brother's fiancée all went to our local festival of lights over the weekend. We're all transplants from the Midwest so Winterhaven is one of the only things that makes it feel like Christmas here in the desert.

The following photos were taken with my iPhone and definitely aren't pin-worthy but it's the meaning and memories behind them that's important, not their quality :)



Most of the houses decorate, some more than others. You can either walk through the neighborhood or reserve a ride on a tractor or trolley ahead of time. Some nights are even reserved for drive thru nights so you can enjoy the lights from the comfort of your warm car!



They used to have horse drawn carriages touring the neighborhood but they stopped using them this year because of the crowd size they were expecting. They feared that something or someone would spook one of the horses which could cause an injury or death. It was sad not to see them there but it was nice not to have to dodge (or smell) the presents they left behind while we were walking!

One of the roads that led to one of the cul-de-sacs off the main entrance had a massive blow up Santa arched over the road from sidewalk to sidewalk and was dubbed "Candy Cane Lane".



This house goes all out every year. The nutcrackers were marching on their roof when we saw the house last year but they weren't marching this year.



A lot of the houses set up little photo areas where you can take your picture against a holiday themed backdrop. This particular house had transformed their garage door into a scene from Elf. It was a huge hit :)



The house right next to theirs had this light up cactus sitting on top of their mailbox along with some cute cactus figures lining the sidewalk. I really liked the large lit up orbs they added to their tree as well.



I really loved the modern nativity scene this house had out on display. It was simple and graphic and I couldn't stop staring at it.



A lot of the homes are decorated more for the kids than the adults. This Disney home had a huge crowd in front of it when we were walking towards it. It was fun hearing the kids scream out the names of the characters when they recognized who they were :)



I loved how this home had turned their roof into a giant present complete with a big red bow.



I also loved the Letters to Santa station they had set up in their yard (lower left)! Such a cute and creative idea!



This home's decorations were fairly simple but offered a great message to remember.



The Car's theme at this home was very creative. You can't see them but there were two men off to the right hanging a character on a zip line they had hung high above their driveway. They pushed it off to the side to slide on down the line and the crowd ooh'd and ahh'd. It was cute :)



It's kind of hard to see but this home had a beach theme display. Their yard was covered in a blue tarp that had air blowing underneath it to mimic waves. Their driveway featured a sand Santa and some beach babe mannequins getting a drink from the Grinch bartender!



I think everyone fell in love with this Despicable Me themed home. The little minion reindeers were darling and the little "It's so FLUFFY!" girl is just adorable!



These homeowners transformed the exterior of their home into a gingerbread house.



I love the massive cut outs they had on their lawn as well as the colorful lights in the tree.



We spent a little more than 2 hours walking around looking at all of the displays and then we went to a pizza place where none of us actually ordered pizza haha

A few of the other memorable homes included one that was turned into Santa's workshop complete with Elf on the Shelf dolls "working" on toys. It had a conveyor belt connected to the workshop that was churning out all of the presents they had made.

Another home had a giant machine that was spitting out bubbles and faux snow above the crowd. One home was made to look like a giant toy store, and one had a group of carolers sitting in front of it reading from a Christmas story I can't remember! All of it was amazing :)

Does your city have a festival of lights?

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7 comments :

  1. Some of these displays are really amazing!! All the work that must have gone into them. And money. Boggles the mind :)

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  2. This looks awesome. You AZ people can have so many lights because you don't freeze putting them up. ;P

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  3. wow- what a beautiful place! i love light displays!

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  4. That looks like it was SO much fun!! I wish we had something similar near me!

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  5. How fun!! I love the cars themed house. It looks like these people put a LOT of effort into this!

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  6. Wow, that's so cool! I wish there were something like that around here.

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