Hunting down holiday lights

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is approaching and the East Valley area has been decked into a winter wonderland. But instead of snow, the communities are decorated in holiday lights.

Now until January, Valley communities will have light up the night. Here are the four different ways you can enjoy the decorations and get into the holiday spirit.

Glendale Glitters Historic Downtown Glendale, located at 58th and Glendale Avenues, have 1.5 million lights illuminating sixteen blocks. Arizona’s largest free holiday display began on Nov. 28 and continues nightly until Jan. 10. Along with the lights, the event will also have holiday entertainment, food, hand-crafted holiday gifts, and a children’s snow field. Each year there is a countdown show and this year’s theme is “Super City, Super Stars,” due to Glendale's hosting of Superbowl XLIX.

Las Noches de las Luminarias Desert Botanical Garden hosts its 37th annual Las Noches de las Luminarias. Eight thousand luminaria bags line up a trail to represent the Southwestern and Mexican tradition of welcoming the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. According to John Sallot, Botanical Garden’s Director of Marketing, “The Garden’s tradition is a way to welcome members and the community to the Garden for the holidays.” This year’s décor is themed to represent the traditional Southwest. The event will also include musical acts and stargazing. Las Noches de las Luminarias will show December 12 to 13, 19 to 23 and 26 to 30. Tickets can be found on www.dbg.org.

ZooLights The Phoenix Zoo is staying open later, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., now until January 11. The zoo transforms into a light show with 3.8 million lights, 700 displays, talking animals, a carousel, and alcoholic beverages every Friday and Saturday. Enjoy "Music in Motion" shows and a live ice sculpture made from a 300-pound block of ice. Tickets for Zoolights can be purchased at the Zoo or online.

Houses Houses all through the East Valley have decked the halls with Christmas lights. A house on 41st Ave. has a Christmas-themed South Park display. Another house on West Alice Ave. in Glendale shows a mixed themed, having Snoopies all around the lawn and lights around their cactuses. Others keep it simple and follow Las Noches de las Luminary by simply lighting a trail with paper-bag lights.

Wherever you choose to wander through the holiday splendor, the lights are sure to help light up holiday spirit across the Valley.

Reach the writer at gvazque3@asu.edu and via Twitter @iamgisellevr.


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