Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour
By Robert Bernstein
Harley Hahn creates a self-guided Holiday Lights Tour every year that he posts here.
We followed the tour and here are all of my photos and a couple of videos!
Most notable is the house that is missing this year from the tour: The house at 1209 East Quinientos on the Lower East Side. Peter Estrada has been creating an extraordinary display at his home since 1992. He is taking a break this year but promises to be back next year.
With that out of the way, the tour starts downtown near State and Carrillo, winding its way back and forth across the State Street Promenade. It then took us over to the West Side in the area of Mountain Avenue, Clearview Road and Manitou Road. We saw this mysterious light show that included skeletons. Not sure if these were left over from Halloween or if this is a new Christmas tradition.
The tour continued to the area of Portesuello and Crestline. Some spectacular displays at that intersection! Plenty of lights and music, too! Here is a video of one corner house:
On the diagonal opposite corner was another complex display that was synchronized to music:
The tour continued down Portesuello and over to the Veronica Springs area. As Harley Hahn said in his guide, if you only have time for one location, this is the one to see. The street is a short dead-end road called Veronica Place. His tour suggests driving this street and making a U-Turn at the end. But I strongly suggest parking before you get there and walking it. That way you won't miss all the details. And it makes for less fumes and noise for the residents.
It is hard for me to show it all here, but you can look at my photo link above to see more images. Following are a few highlights.
This display included a video of Santa sailing through the air pulled by his reindeer:
Here he is in a more tangible form just as the reindeer are lifting off!
What I didn't realize? That Santa sometimes gives up riding in the sleigh and rides an elephant!
Who knew? Maybe that is in the Newer Testament of the Bible? Notice the famous Christmas Unicorn beyond him and the elephant!
I was glad that these people stayed in their car to show off their classic 1950s Cadillac! My grandfather had one like that when I was a child.
I think the Santa Barbara Trolley Company may have invented this tour before Harley did, but I can't prove that. Here is a trolley that made its way down this little street. [Note: This trolley is NOT associated with the Santa Barbara Trolley Company who is currently not operating at this time].
This Santa is hula dancing!
We then walked across the street to Hillside House. "Shining a Light on Abilities" is the theme of their display. Merlie and I took turns posing with some of the displays.
We were pleasantly surprised to realize that the figures in Santa's sleigh were real live people enjoying the ride!
The final part of the tour took us over to a small street off Hitchcock Way called Monterey Pines Street. A set of cottages all decorated together in a festive spirit!
Here is my short video as I strolled this exhibit from end to end:
Thanks to Harley Hahn for giving us a helpful route to follow! But be sure to explore more on your own. I am sure there are many other magnificent holiday light creations to enjoy!