If a single strand of lights dangling from your roof is ranked a “2,” then these eastern Idaho Christmas light displays are easily a “22,” or maybe a “32.”
Some are just eye-popping, over-the-top bonkers. In some cases, nearly every square yard of lawn space is taken up with megawatt dancing, twinkling, music-synchronized lights to celebrate the season. Can they be seen from the circling space station?
“I love Christmas and the show brings a lot of joy into the lives of those who watch it,” reports the Owens family on their website about their show on 1385 Lowell Drive. “I have always loved putting up Christmas lights.”
The Owen family really loves lights, putting up an estimated 120,000 in their front yard. On Monday night, nine vehicles were parked across the street from the house to watch a 30-minute show of nine songs synced with the light show with computer software. The show starts at 5 p.m. and goes to 10 p.m. Viewers can tune their car radios to a short-range FM transmitter — in this case, 88.5 on the dial — for the music playing to the lights.
Another mega-crazy, computer-animated, music-synced light show takes place at 3453 N. 55th E. in Iona. Tune your radio to 102.7 FM when you go.
On the slightly tamer side (without the music), head down South Boulevard toward Tautphaus Park. At about 21st Street, people are invited to drive through a circular driveway in the front of a house to see a dazzling mega tree cover in lights clear to the top. Look for Santa and his sleigh on the top of the house.
A more traditional display at 1839 Malibu Drive features a full Biblical scene with life-size animals, people and abodes.
“We’re from Costa Rica,” said Douglas Arevalo talking about his nativity scene surrounded by life-size sheep. “In Costa Rica, nativity scenes are the main thing for Christmas. We felt this was a way to share what we think about the season and Christ and Christ’s birth.”
Arevalo said this is his fifth year doing the display and he adds a little something each year. Next year he hopes to add an ox and full-sized camel. “That’s a baby camel there now.”
If you’re into inflatable characters of all sorts (a giant Christmas wiener dog was spotted near Hartert Drive), a good place to search is the corner of Springfield Drive and Dairy Lane south of Sunnyside.
But what do neighbors think of extra slow-moving traffic on their streets during the holidays?
“Most of the neighbors like it,” the Owens family reports. “On opening night the neighbors come over for a lighting ceremony and we have a little get together at the house. The children who live across the street love to sit in their front window and watch the lights.”
For a helpful Google map to locate Christmas light shows in eastern Idaho, go to bit.ly/EastIdahoLights.