I’m Dreamin’ of a “Light” Christmas

Every year, my father would pick an evening to take my mother and I out and about town to see the Christmas lights. I remember when we would drive around Monument Circle with the sunroof open to see the large, conical strings of lights hit the top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument and feel the crisp winds of the illuminated December sky. From there, he would then drive us back to Fishers to view the Christmas lights planted out on the Reynold’s Farm Equipment property. Calling this trip a tradition is an understatement.

Every year, my father would pick an evening to take my mother and I out and about town to see the Christmas lights. I remember when we would drive around Monument Circle with the sunroof open to see the large, conical strings of lights hit the top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument and feel the crisp winds of the illuminated December sky. From there, he would then drive us back to Fishers to view the Christmas lights planted out on the Reynold’s Farm Equipment property. Calling this trip a tradition is an understatement.

This year, I celebrated Christmas from my cosy apartment in Redmond. All of my friends celebrated with their respective families in their respective hometowns, and I celebrated with my parents through Skype. Without seeing much snow here this year, and not experiencing the “hustle and bustle” of the Holidays here in Washington, I had to figure out some way to continue the tradition of seeing Christmas lights.

Reynolds Farm Equipment assembles a large Cross truss as part of their annual lights display (Taken during my Project 180 series)

Traveling "Light"

I stumbled across an ad on MSN mentioning the best places to see Christmas Lights in every state. Looked up Washington state immediately... I there are hardly any houses or apartments around me that had any decorations up so I needed some sort of display to keep me entertained this holiday season. Found out the best place to see lights (not only for Washington, but the entire PNW) was in Stanwood. Only an hour drive north of Seattle? Not bad!

The event known as The Lights of Christmas Festival takes place annually at Warm Beach Camp.

Treading Lightly

Some of the roads on the way up there are not very-well lit. Proceed carefully through the dark, winding roads, and study the GPS ahead of time! When I arrived, traffic patrol guided me to a separate parking lot across the street from the campsite, as the main lots have already filled up. After walking about a half mile to the main entrance, I waited in one of the six lines. This attraction brings around eight-thousand people per evening, so all of the lines were packed by the time I arrived. PRO TIP: by ordering tickets online in advance, you can skip the line! Luckily, the staff had ignited a campfire in line keeping my hands warm for the time being.

 

 

The name is slightly deceiving... it was not warm the evening I went out.

The lights that stop me - turn to stone

To quote Ellie Goulding, that's exactly what these lights did to me. There were lights installed on every tree, every fixture, you name it. Once you pass the admission gates, the holiday village is lit up like an amusement park. There were attractions in every sector, organized as brilliantly as an amusement park. My main goal was to take pictures of course, but for families, they had face painting, a toy shop, ornament-making, a petting zoo, a light-maze, carolers, and many other activities! Given that I only had three hours, I had to make the most of my time. I walked a total of 3 miles through the campsite, admiring every bulb that was lit. Here are some of my favorite shots of the evening.

The Final Verdict

This place was well worth the drive, and I don't think I've ever seen so many lights in one place. While this tops the amount of lights that are in an area compared to places I've been in Indianapolis, it wasn't the same without taking my parents. Hopefully they can come visit me during the Christmas season so that I can show them how Washington celebrates Christmas!

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