While the rest of the world is cleaning up from Thanksgiving and gathering their Christmas décor from the attic, some Americans have spent the past several months preparing for some of the most elaborate and out-of-this-world holiday light displays in America.
Shindigz, a party supply retailer, set out to find the five most dazzling holiday light displays in America. And, baby – Clark Griswold ain’t got nothin’ on these masterpieces!
5. Nashville & Sevierville, TN – New Market, MD – Myrtle Beach, SC
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
With four locations confirmed for 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee, Sevierville, Tennessee, New Market, Maryland and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is worth the road trip. Each drive through display contains hundreds of thousands of LED lights controlled by 1,600 different light circuits and perfectly choreographed to festive music. In 2010, Forbes Magazine featured Shadrack’s as a must-see holiday attraction. Pricing starts at $25 per car. The best part about Shadrack’s is that they understand the Shindigz motto to “Make Life More Fun” for others. Every year, Shadrack’s makes generous donations to organizations like Ronald McDonald House, American Red Cross and Toys for Tots among other local charities within the host cities. Our party hats are off to you, Shadrack’s!
4. Leavenworth, WA
Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival
Often compared to a real-life version of a country snow globe, the Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth, Washington is the perfect mix of lights, entertainment and old-time holiday spirit. The streets of this Bavarian village feature a sea of twinkling lights, carolers, chestnut vendors and horse-drawn carriages. Bring the family for activities like sledding, caroling, live music and an incredible live nativity. As stated on their website, Leavenworth’s country atmosphere and holiday festivities are enough to make put any snow globe to shame.
3. Wheeling, WV
Oglebay Festival of Lights
This incredible display opened in 1985 in Wheeling, West Virginia and has grown into a spectacular attraction of 75 larger-than-life light displays spanning 300 acres over a six mile drive through the Oglebay Resort. The Festival of Lights was featured on the Travel Channel’s Extreme Christmas Celebrations show and has gained notoriety across the nation. The Oglebay Festival of Lights is open through January 8, 2012 on Sundays through Thursdays until 10:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays until 11:00 p.m. A per car donation is requested and the pass is valid for the entire festival season.
2. Gatlinburg, TN
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Although this festival spans three cities including Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, the brightest sights and holiday events of Smoky Mountain Winterfest can be found in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This annual festival is a breathtaking scene of snow covered mountains set behind millions of twinkling lights and several holiday parades. With events like the Festival of Trees, Fantasy of Lights parade, Trolley of Lights Tour and New Year’s Ball Drop and Fireworks show, Gatlinburg in December is one bright spectacle to behold. While Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have equally entertaining events, our vote for best light displays at Winterfest goes to the Gatlinburg version.
1. Branson, MO
Silver Dollar City
Located in Branson, Missouri, the Silver Dollar City Holiday Festivities should be on every holiday bucket list. Therefore, it’s the number one city on the Shindigz list of best Christmas Light Displays in America. Christmas on Main Street kicks off the festival with the lighting of a 5-story tall musical Christmas tree with over a million lights choreographed to many favorite Holiday tunes. Shortly after, the Gifts of Christmas Holiday Light Parade takes over the streets with over 100,000 dazzling lights. This parade takes place not once, not twice, but 4 days each week through December 30th. Want even more? The Branson Area Festival of Lights is a magical one mile long drive through thrilling lights and holiday spirit. With over 175 displays, this unique holiday showcase is guaranteed to please the oldest and youngest of guests. The Branson Area Festival of Lights is open daily through Jan. 2, 2012, from dusk until 11 p.m. Prices start at just $12 for a family vehicle. We wouldn’t be surprised if you could see this city from space in December.