This year’s Tour de Lights
by Staff Writer
There’s decorating, and then there’s the Greenwalds.
Eric and Kristen Greenwald of Huntersville spent seven weekends adorning their Melrose Meadow Lane house and lawn with lights. Then they labored 15 hours programming their lights to music. Then they created a website – www.huntersville
christmaslights.com – with video of their display which contains sound bites from Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold from the movie “Christmas Vacation.”
But unlike the Griswolds, the Greenwalds did not labor in vain. Instead, they’re “Solo Sparklers” on this year’s Tour of De-Lights, the Herald Weekly’s annual listing of fantastic local light displays you don’t want to miss this holiday season.
The Greenwalds also represent a growing number of residents using technology to pump up the impact of their lighted displays with synchronized lights and music.
In MacAulay, the second annual Zimnowski Christmas Light show at 15419 Hugh McAuley Road is another crowning achievement. Their emotionally charged light and music show sent chills up the spine of a Herald Weekly judge recently. Their colorful LED display is accented by strobe lights, 12-foot Bellagio poles, a spiral mega tree, and a five-foot North Star that shoots a 30-foot beam of light.
Other solo sparklers in MacAulay include the Lipinski home at 15038 Hugh McAuley Road and the Arndt home at 14904 Carbert Lane, which produced a chorus of wows as judges approached the lots.
In The Hamptons, homeowner Barry Wilson and 15-year old son, Reid, were outside making adjustments when previewers arrived. Barry credited his wife, Rita, and Reid with planning and executing the family’s synchronized light show at 9621 St. Barts Lane.
Additional wow power comes from Huntersville native William Auten at 101 Hillside Drive. He’s been decorating since the late-1980s and lights his house each night from 6 to 10 p.m.
In Cedarfield, Devin Biery at 12518 Moores Mill Road continued his tradition of making a call to his electrician in early December to have more electrical outlets installed. This year, his electrician advised him, “If you need more electricity after this, you’re going have to buy a bigger house.” One look at Biery’s red-green-and-gold light display and you’ll see he’s maxed his capacity.
In the “Lighted Alliance” category of two or more homes, perennial favorite Locust Grove Lane added more lights and attractions to their dazzling display. Don’t miss this lighted wonderland!
The list of homes, sorted by neighborhood, follows. Randy Jones, a Tour participant (12623 Hollyhock Lane) and previewer saw other decorated homes along the way that weren’t on our list, so look for them as you take this year’s Tour. Thanks to all who entered; you shine when it comes to making the season de-lightful. See you next year.
2011 Tour de Lights
• 8830 Devonshire Drive
Music, Santa crashing into garage, large nativity scene
• 9303 Brentfield Road
Simple elegance; nice white lights with wreaths
• 17639 Cambridge Grove Drive
Bigger than ever; stars on roof, tall soldiers made of lights; lots to enjoy
• 17604 Cambridge Grove Drive
Fifth year on Tour; first year for LED synchronized light display
• 5622 Colonial Garden Drive
Synchronized light display; nice use of LED, rope and mini lights
• 8501 Fox Tail Lane
Synchronized light display with music
• 12623 Hollyhock Lane
Penguins playing hockey, winter scene, musical trees, snow machine
• 12518 Moores Mill Road
Impressive display of red, green, gold lights and seasonal decorations
• 12406 Locust Grove Lane Lighted Alliance
Lighted wonderland! Every house lighted; arches at every drive; Santa with toys and working train set; lots of lights and inflatables; bigger this year
• 14820 Rosemary Way Drive
Pink angel, snowman with hat and train
• 19924 Floral Lane
LED Peacock, lots of candy canes in walkway
• 12729 Cumberland Crest Drive
Reindeer with sleigh, musical lights, little deer in training
• 6820 Olmsford Drive
Nice use of red, green and white lights; Mickey and Minnie Mouse; Santa crashed in tree
• Swinton Road Lighted Alliance
Little Christmas village with every house decorated
• 13513 Melrose Meadow Lane
Synchronized light display with music, movie sound bites.
Visit www.huntersvillechristmaslights.com for video and directions.
• 101 Hillcrest Drive
Lighted Peace on Earth sign on rooftop; flying Santa sleigh with reindeer; dancing Santa; Merry Christmas sign; great for kids
• 15028 Beatties Ford Road
Good use of space with different seasonal displays
• 15038 Hugh McAuley Road
House and lawn beautifully lit in colorful lights with angel display
• 15419 Hugh McAuley Road
Synchronized light display with music; amazing blend of sights and sounds
• 14904 Carbert Lane
Beautiful corner lot decorated on all visible sides; huge Bellagio pole in back yard; lots to enjoy
• 15800, 15801, 15802, 15805 Lavenham Road
Lighted alliance with LEDs, archway over drive
• 14322 Ranson Road
Lighted alliance of three lighted homes and trees along Ranson Road
• 102 & 103 Alden Lane
Lighted alliance with multi-colored flashing trees, helicopter, many seasonal decorations
• 15228 Eric Kyle Drive
Front yard full of lights and decorations
• 7324 April Mist Trail
Simple display with custom red sleigh
• 9621 St. Barts Lane
Synchronized light display with music
• 8839 Blooming Arbor Street
Synchronized light display with music, 16 trees, walkway lined with candy canes