Gold Coast City Council Christmas Lights Competition is now in its 19th year and viewing the lights has become an annual tradition for families. Christmas enthusiasts bedeck the outside of their houses with dazzling displays that have to be seen to be believed. Competition is fierce, as time is taken off work to create the Christmas Wonderland homes where Santa climbs up and down chimneys, reindeer and sleighs park on rooftops, snowmen, elves and Christmas characters grace the lawns of gardens and trees are ablaze with coloured lights. It adds a sparkle to the streets of the Gold Coast and offers the opportunity to create wonderful Christmas memories for the children who will view them.
One of last year's entries we visited, even had a garage open to the public with every Christmas decoration you could dream of and a beautiful nativity scene. I have to say it made our tree and Frosty the Snowman back home, look rather tame.
Competition entrants go to a great deal of time and effort to create their special Christmas displays
Viewing the Christmas Lights (between 10 & 24 December) is lots of fun and little ones will be enthralled by the magic, rewarding you with oohs and ahhs of delight. The images from last year speak for themselves.
The Council provides bus tours departing from the Gold Coast Arts Centre (directions to the centre here each night (between 10 – 24 December) at 7pm. Bookings are essential, call Murray's Coaches on 13 22 51. Cost is $14 for adults, $9 for children (no charge for children under one year of age) with $1 from each ticket sold being donated to the 2011 Mayor's Christmas Appeal.
Or check the location of the lights on the Council website (uploaded early December after judging), pack some lollies and spend an evening driving around the Christmas lights. All it will cost is your time and your petrol.
If the experience inspires you to enter next year, entry forms are available from Council Offices, libraries or online at www.goldcoastcity.com.au/christmaslights. (Entries for 2011 close 25 November). You could even win your share of $10,000 in prizes. Time we took another look at Frosty I'd say.