PHOTOS: Extreme neighborhood Christmas displays from around US, the world

People visit the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights on December 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Alexi Rosenfeld, Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Extreme Christmas displays are everywhere during the holiday season, but extreme displays by entire neighborhoods are truly something special.

When the entire neighborhood gets into the holiday spirit, there’s just something about seeing it that makes you in awe of the community. Someone didn’t just put up some lights -- there was cooperation and, often, competition reinforced by a measure of holiday joy unmatched by other neighborhoods.

We combed through postings about neighborhoods throughout the United States and beyond and found these neighborhoods that fit that criterion. Click through each link and you’ll see a sampling of the holiday lights celebrations on display in each area. Which neighborhood is your pick for the best display? Let us know in the comments.

Pecan Grove in Richmond, Texas

Russell Harrison image of Chris Kalvert's Pecan Grove lights display, as shared with KPRC 2 on Dec. 10, 2021. (RHarrisonPhotos)

We had to start out with the neighborhood in our backyard. This neighborhood is massive and nearly everyone participates. Of particular interest are the cul-de-sacs and areas that coordinate their efforts. A cul-de-sac called Heavenly Hearthside , in particular, is an entire corner decked out in blue-white lights. Every house is given the same treatment. Take two seconds to think about that. Everyone had to go along with that idea for their displays. It’s just extraordinary. And then there is an extreme display of inflatables with a Ditto sign that we recently ran a feature on that shows neighbors having a good time with the over-the-top dynamic between neighbors.

RELATED: 🔒Inside Pecan Grove’s massive inflatables holiday lights display: Homeowner shares his inspiration, the drive to win, and how it’s done

River Oaks in Houston, Texas

All aboard! This school bus tours Houston’s River Oaks spectacular Christmas lights display | HOUSTON LIFE | KPRC 2

Another neighborhood with a remarkable set of displays. These homes are massive and so are the Christmas lights displays. Who knew you could make trees look so beautiful? Definitely worth checking out. Here’s this year’s route.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn in New York

People visit the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights on December 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Dyker Heights’ lights in Brooklyn, New York is a tradition for the neighborhood. According to the local lights website, “There are a few versions of how the tradition got started, local historians say it dates all the way back to the 1940′s.  One of the well-known pioneers is Lucy Spata, with her famed house on 84th Street where just about every inch of the property is decorated. The Spatas have been decorating for more than 40 years and add a little more each year.  In addition to keeping the family tradition going strong and putting smiles on thousands of kids’ faces from around the world, the Spatas‘ use this fame to give back to the community through charities.”

Also of note in New York are Long Island, the Rockefeller Center lights (of course) and 5th Avenue’s lights and windows.

Oxford Street in London

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: A general view of decorations on Oxford Street as London prepares for the festive season on December 03, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: A general view of decorations at John Lewis on Oxford Street as London prepares for the festive season on December 03, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

In London, Oxford Street is a shopping area that is lit up each year for Christmas. Though this isn’t a neighborhood effort, but a commercial one, it’s still quite beautiful and one we wanted to include on this list.

Australia - Massive Christmas display for a cause

Jeremy and Lorraine Stevenson have strung together a display featuring 420,000 individual Christmas lights in the brightly lit yard of their Albany home, ABC News reports. The display is a fundraiser for a cystic fibrosis cause and inspired by their 5-year-old granddaughter who lives with the disorder. It isn’t an entire neighborhood display, but it definitely shows a community effort. Stevenson told the outlet the display took three people working full-time six weeks to construct and covers an area of 2,500 square meters or 26,909 square feet.

The Candy Cane Lanes:

Candy Cane Lane, Wisconsin and Candy Cane Lane, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania both have impressive displays. The name of the streets must help with the holiday spirit, no? We’re absolutely sure we’ve missed many Candy Cane Lanes across the U.S., but these are a couple notable streets. We love when communities get together to help a charity during the holiday season like the Candy Cane Lane in Wisconsin. Candy Cane Lane has been collecting donations for The MACC Fund fighting childhood cancer since 1984, and is responsible for over $3 million dollars in funding, according to this local website.

Peacock Lane, Oregon:

The lights are there and so is the community involvement, but we especially like the renewed efforts to reclaim the lights tradition in 2021 as the pandemic continues.

Richmond, Virginia:

The Tacky Lights Tour owns it. Really. We adore that people are embracing this in Richmond, Virginia. It’s like they went to a Home Depot or a Lowes, bought everything in multiple and then fired it all up on the biggest patch of land possible. It doesn’t match. It isn’t always according to a theme. It doesn’t always look pretty, but it’s definitely bright.

Baltimore, Maryland’s 34th Street

In Baltimore, Maryland, 34th Street is considered a Christmas miracle of community involvement. The street residents light up and maintain the displays and it is quite a thing to behold. Here’s a great walkthrough tour.

Jeater Bend in Celebration, Florida

Jeater Bend in Celebration, Florida has a great lights display that has a few more fun bits if you walk through. We especially like the bubbles that turn into smoke at one particular house along the tour and how creative people are getting with their projection lights. Truly something to behold - watch around the eight-minute mark. Plantation, Florida is also of note -- a big contender in light fights between neighborhoods in the state.

Gilbert, Arizona

We love the fact that an entire section of a neighborhood in Gilbert, Arizona has its lights synchronized to holiday music. What a collaboration between neighbors! Take a look with this excellent tour.

Waipahu, Hawaii

The phrase 'Mele Kalikimaka' or 'Merry Christmas' in the Hawaiian language is seen as visitors view the annual Honolulu City Lights, a holiday season tradition, at the Honolulu City Hall grounds on December 18, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (2011 Getty Images)

The Waikele Christmas lights are synchronized to music and take up an impressive chunk of a neighborhood with neighbors competing to light up their corner of the world a little brighter. This feature covers all the best points about holiday lights spectaculars: its history, the neighbors and how newcomers to the neighborhood learn to fit in amid the overwhelming holiday spirit.

Where did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.