Crazy Christmas Lights Bring out the Competitive Spirit


Screenshot of the Lights on the Lake website.

Emily Martinez, Staff Reporter

There are some pretty amazing Christmas light displays around the U.S., but which ones will make it in the top 10 for 2016?

Locally, many people know about Lights on the Lake, an annual display set up in Onondaga Lake Park, not far away in Liverpool, NY. This is set up to drive through in your car, and costs $10 per vehicle, or $15 on the weekends.  They have traditional and modern scenes and displays. [Ed. Note: it’s open now through January 8th from 5-10pm, –and one of the sponsors is the National Grid power company, of course.]

If you travel during the holidays, Florida is a really amazing spot to go to. Jennings Osborne moved his 1,000 light display for his Little Rock home to the spectacular Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new set-up requires five million lights, and over ten miles of rope lighting. And adding another thirty miles of extension cords to bring the show together.

Love to see more than show lights? New York City is known for its city lights. There is a show that takes place every year involving a traditional 70-foot-tall Norway spruce covered in LED lights towers which is above 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Hershey Pennsylvania is always a sweet place to visit. Annually, hundreds of people gather to see the Hershey Sweet Lights Holiday Drive-Thru Spectacular. It would take you through a 2.3 mile woodlands aglow with 600 themed light displays. And in the background it plays all the seasonal hit music.

Animal setting light shows are always a plus. There is a light show that occurs in Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. The “Zoolights” turn the zoo into a 500,000-LED-light winter wonderland. It is a free event to bring your friends and family to, there is even a solar-powered Speedwell Conservation Carousel to take a ride on. The carousel shows 58 different kind of animals custom-carved including a clouded leopard and a sloth bear.

Traveling out West? In Denver, Colorado there is a showing on the Rocky Mountains at the Botanic Gardens. It is a half-mile path which goes through the Gardens. There are thousands of colorful lights that show native Western plants true beauty.

Vegas is always a place to go to. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Nevada desert it has many Christmas lights. Anyone can drive down to the racetrack and visually see the Glittering Lights. A 2.5-mile circuit that gives visitors in vehicles the chance to see more than 400 animated displays.

There’s a park in Austin, Texas called Zilker Park, and they have up to 1,500 volunteers to put together the Trail of Tears. That all together took 15,000 hours to put together. It is a 1.25 mile walking circuit that also has over 100 lit-up trees.

If you are headed South, there is place in Branson, Missouri known as the Silver Dollar City. The entire city is turned into a Christmas Light wonderland with over one million lights. There is a five-story Special Effects Christmas Tree. It is covered with over 250,000 lights, coordinated to blaze to the musical movements of Christmas songs.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia has amazing light shows. It contains a Tunnel of Light which is from the radiant Ice Goddess to the Glittering Galaxy embraces everyone in the enchanting lights. The garden was named one of the top 10 holiday light shows in the country by USA Today.

Last but not least if a small town light show is your thing then going to McAdenville, North Carolina will be quite a trip. Half a century ago the Men’s Club in this small town decorated eight trees around the community center. These days, there are 375 trees up to 90 feet tall today that are completely covered in lights.