In most countries around the world, Christmas is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday. It is during this time of the year that people hold religious processions or parades to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, hold their annual family reunions, shop for and exchange gifts, prepare lots of food on their tables and decorate their homes. When it comes to Christmas decorations, there is definitely nothing like electrifying displays of holiday lights surrounding homes and commercial establishments during the season. Preparing for Christmas is never without these Christmas lights, because these are what zap people with that jolly-good Christmas cheer. During the holidays, some individuals and families travel to several places to witness awe-inspiring displays of holiday lights which are very common during the season. From east to west, homes, malls and other establishments are filled with brilliant, sparkling, and colorful Christmas lights, transforming dull cities into magical, dazzling ones. Some of the most visited places in the world when it comes to Christmas light displays are located in the United States, though there are several other places outside the United States that can match the beauty of these popular holiday light destinations. Here is a list of the 10 best Christmas light displays in the world:
10. Baltimore, MD
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Baltimore is known as a bona fide breeding ground for Christmastime magic. During Christmas season, the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore looks like a dazzling block of row houses as they are filled with colorful Christmas lights. For more than 60 years, the 34th street has been known as the “Christmas Street” because of its striking beauty during the holiday season. As residents celebrate Christmas, they come together in labor of love to fill their lots with snow globes, musical trains, blinking lights and flashing angels. Also known as the “Miracle on 34th Street,” Baltimore is considered a Christmas wonderland by tourists.
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Every Christmas, Virginia is known for its “100 miles of lights”, a world-renowned festival where literally 100 miles of lights get strung together between six cities, including the cities of Richmond, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. This place is one of the most popular Christmas destinations for families because of the different festivals that are held here during the season. One of them is the “McDonalds Holiday Lights at the Beach” which transforms boardwalk into a holiday-themed light display.
8. San Antonio, TX
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River Walk in Texas is another popular Christmas lights display destination during the season. In 2011, this city took its holiday light display to new heights as it infused 20 times more Christmas LED lights, garnishing the over 200 trees and 20 bridges in the vicinity. During the holiday season, carolers further brighten up every corner of this city by bellowing tunes while passing through brightly lit river barges. Lighting up of the entire city begins every November 25.
7. McAdenville NC
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Known as the little North Carolina, the small town of McAdenville which only has a population of 700 is one of the most popular holiday light display destinations in the world. Every Christmas, around 600,000 visitors from different countries visit this town to witness its transformation through the installation of thousands of Christmas lights. Also dubbed as “Christmas Town USA,” McAdenville trims more than 375 fir trees and adorn them with radiant, colorful bulbs. What adds more to its high-powered Christmas feel are the recorded Christmas carols broadcast coming from its local church.
6. Branson, MO
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. Branson is located in southwestern Missouri’s scenic Ozark Mountains. This city is known to transform into a winter wonderland every Christmas through its lavish light displays and dozens of Christmas shows and events. Silver Dollar City, a popular park located in Branson, is widely visited every yuletide season because of the over four million radiant lights and 1,000 decorated Christmas trees that can be found in it. Also among the other highlights in this place during Christmas is the 5-story Special Effects Christmas Tree.
5. Chicago, IL
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It got the 5th spot of the Top 10 Christmas light displays in the world. Chicago is known for its frosty winter weather and festive events during Christmas. But the thing that it is best known for is its “Magnificent Mile Lights Festival,” where millions of Christmas lights garnish the over 200 trees flanking the famous shopping strip. During the season, the 45-feet Great Tree which has been in the city for almost a century now is also a popular destination for tourists. Every Christmas, the local government of Chicago makes sure that this city is brimming with holiday cheer.
4. Denver, CO
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The series of “Mile High Holiday” events during the holidays are very popular in Denver. The dazzling lights filling Denver every Christmas are one of its major highlights during the season, as well as the 9NEWS Parade of Lights where the City and County Building is illuminated festively. This building is the largest lighting display in the whole of Colorado, and it starts to light up November 25 of every year. The downtown Denver area also features almost a million shiny Christmas lights, floats, soaring balloons and bands that are sure to draw tourists from other towns. During the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Lights exhibition, millions of holiday lights are also integrated into the gardens to make a perfect light display during Christmas.
3. Walt Disney World
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Walt Disney World is widely considered as the happiest place on earth during Christmas since it is one of the most favorite 10 best Christmas light displays in the world. Especially in Orlando, around five million bulbs blanket the theme park as they are synced up with animated displays for choreographed interpretations of various Christmas carols.
2. Newport Beach, CA
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The Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach has always been known to delight tourists because of its “Christmas-sea” feeling. In here, around 200 vibrantly decorated vessels are lined up to light up the beach, including yachts and canoes. These holiday lights glide through the harbor as holiday music and carolers bellow with festive merrymaking. It is also in this place that the annual “Ring of Lights” contest is held where people enjoy colorful Christmas lights.
1. New York City, NY
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Every yuletide season, New York City is known for its wondrous Christmas light displays and big holiday concerts and events. This city features Start with Rockefeller Center’s iconic towering tree which sets some 30,000 bulbs of lights aglow every Christmas. Tree-lighting fixes also abound in South Street Seaport, Washington Square Park, Lincoln Center, Brany Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.