Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour

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Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour
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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!

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a-1608311357 Dec 18, 2020 09:09 AM
Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour

What is with the blue trolley? Most of the people on there are maskless. Do they all live in the same household? Kind of sucks that my family and I are taking this so seriously and forgoing so many wonderful Christmas festivities and then I see people just flagrantly ignoring it.

Bndtech Dec 19, 2020 08:27 AM
Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour

Don't forget, Santa will be outside Monterey Pines St this Sat and Sun from 7-8 pm for the last time; he is a professional Real Bearded Santa with a Custom Continential Suit. Santa has visited this place in the last 3 weekends has handed out special coins to all who visit. The coins are sanitized prior to issue and Santa wears a mask too. 6' social distance is required, Santa uses a special tool to hand the coins to people.

biguglystick Dec 21, 2020 10:19 AM
Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour

I live in one of the areas mentioned here, and let me add: If you are going to be cruising around to look at lights, (which are wonderful) be quiet and courteous to the people living there! We have had people yelling, honking, clogging up the street and being a nightmare. Please think about the people who have to LIVE in the neighborhoods. Don't block traffic, if you want to stop, pull over.

sbrobert Dec 21, 2020 12:59 PM
Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour

A little courtesy to the neighbors indeed would be appreciated BIGUGLYSTICK.

Please note that the Edhat editor informed us all that the blue trolley bus in my photo is NOT the Trolley Company trolley bus. Yes, we should all be wearing masks around anyone who is not in our immediate household.

I do hope that the Christmas holiday is not a repeat of Thanksgiving. If you are not concerned about your own health and safety, please think of the front line workers like my niece who are past the limit of what any human should have to endure.

Thank you for the kind words WAHINE!

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