Festive light displays are expected to be more popular than ever this Christmas, and some local streets are going to great lengths to provide them.
One of the Coast’s favourite streets for Christmas lights, Vista Motu in Red Beach, has been lighting up for 25 years.
Vista Motu Sharon Fluker started it off, and still organises the lights and keeps neighbours in the loop each year. She says when it started in 1996 there were only 12 houses. Now there are around 30 homes in the blind road, which has several long driveways off it.
Paul Mathers says when he moved into the street, around 13 years ago, he was blown away by the neighbourhood comaraderie.
“The Christmas lights bring our street together,” he says.
This year’s Vista Motu displays include Santas on motorbikes, a full-size helicopter and an enormous reindeer. There is Christ in a manger in LED, large LED trees and a model village with moving ice skaters as well as 3m high tin soldiers.
“Most of the houses are doing their displays, however because of Covid we also understand and support the neighbours who wish not to do it this year,” Paul says.
“Some homes will display QR codes and we hope that people follow the Covid guidelines and wear a mask as they move around viewing the displays, also trying to maintain distancing,” he says.
“We all love doing the lights and believe that the community wants some cheering up after a hard four months.”
Bridal Place opts out
A popular lights destination in Millwater, the little cul de sac Bridal Place, made the call last month to cancel this year’s Christmas light displays. In a social media post, the residents said that they were sad to make this decision, but it did not seem right to attract the kinds of crowds they get there, which can be up to 2000 people in just four hours. “We have to look after the health of our residents and of course the many thousands of kids that don’t have an opportunity to be protected yet. We hope you all understand, we will be back next year in all our glory,” the post said.
Lights to view at Clea View
Another street worth adding to your Christmas light-viewing route this year is Clea View in Gulf Harbour. Greg Sager of 39 Clea View says his family had just one set of lights up last Christmas. “This year we got a few more, which revealed a few dark holes, and it snowballed from there,” he says. The most recent tally is around 23,000 lights plus a snow machine.
Greg says it was the cancellation of their family snow holiday to the South Island because of lockdown that inspired the addition of the snow machine. He says the light addiction is spreading with others in Clea View joining in the fun. “We now have about 7-8 houses in Clea View putting lights up and each week we get more and more joining in,” Greg says. “Hopefully, one year soon, Clea View will be able to give Vista Motu a run for its money!” There are QR codes at 39 Clea View (#thirtyninelights) for scanning, along with a request to wear a mask and keep a social distance from others.