Did you attend the giant lighting ceremonies downtown this year? Holiday Fest was great fun, with HUGE attendance. But perhaps you are not a crowd person and prefer instead to drive around and look at all of the pretty lights from the warmth of your car? Well, have I got some news for you! I asked friends and family for their favorite light displays, found this great post from the Visit Fort Wayne blog last year, and did some driving.
There are so many great sights downtown:
- Santa and reindeer display on the PNC building
- winter scene above Calhoun Street at Wayne (and all of the snowflakes and wreaths on Calhoun)
- giant wreath on One Summit Square
- Santa’s Workshop display at the Community Center
- “Aunt Millie’s Northern Lights” at Perfection Bakeries
- And don’t forget to drive over the lighted Martin Luther King bridge on Clinton Street!
There is still road construction downtown, so you may need to adjust your driving directions accordingly, or even park and walk a few blocks to see all of the sights.
Don’t forget the fundraising Fantasy of Lights in Franke Park next to the zoo. This annual display is in its 18th year. It is open every night through Dec 31: Sunday through Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 pm and Friday and Saturday 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Admission is $5 per car; $10 per 15-passenger van; $25 per bus/trolley and benefits the AWS Foundation.
And about town, you’ll find a variety of gorgeously decorated houses — there are lights and Santas and snowmen and candy canes and nativity scenes and elves and reindeer! Oh my! You can visit them regionally, or drive around the county and check them all out (map overview below). Many of the displays have an added audio component — just tune your radio to the station displayed in the yard to watch the lights dance to the music!
Western Allen County
- 2828 Emerald Lake Drive — This stop might be the most famous. The multi-colored lit house and yard can easily be seen from Covington Road. Often Santa is sitting out in the driveway — you are welcome to go up and visit him. Be careful turning around to exit the addition.
- 2416 Caravelle Drive — Tune in your radio to 91.3 FM for this dancing display! There are lines, trees, and arcs moving to the music. You can also check out their Web site lacawb.com. According to that site, they have 320 channels controlling 42,000 lights. Listed hours are Monday – Thursday 5:30 – 11 pm and Friday – Sunday 5:00 – 11:30 pm.I found the street signs hard to read at night in these additions, so watch your map/directions closely.
- 13525 Plumbago Court — Tune into 107.5 FM for another music/motion combo. Watch Conductor Santa direct the show from his window. There is also the famous leg lamp from A Christmas Story projected in the other garage window. This show is one of my favorites. I don’t know if it’s the rainbow LEDs or the music selection, but I especially loved this display.
- 8512 Forsythia Court — This house is my other favorite. 89.9 FM is the channel to hear the music for this show. According to that channel, they have an Energy Star-rated display that is 100% LED. They have 30,000 lights on 96 channels. Hours are Monday-Thursday 6:00 – 10:30 pm and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 6:00 – 11:00 pm. They are on Twitter (@tothchristmas) and love feedback. They are taking song suggestions for next year! Here’s a (very short) sneak peek of the show:
- 1818 Morgan Creek Drive — You’ll see the lights from Bass Road. Turn on 107.5 for this patriotic-themed Christmas show. The red, white, and blue, snowflakes and stars dance to the music.
Northern Fort Wayne
- 224 W. Wallen Road — This house has colored lights wrapped around the many mid-sized trees on their property, and it makes for a lovely sight. Photos don’t do it justice, it’s very simple and serene.
- 9346 Auburn Road – You’ll see snowmen, Santa, and an awesome Snoopy Sno-machine as you drive by this beauty. This stretch of road is a no passing zone right before the crest of a hill — please drive carefully.
- 1828 South Tyland Boulevard This house is done up front and back! There is a little bit of everything here — vintage decorations, Santa, a nativity scene. So much to see!
- 1911 South Tyland Boulevard Just across the street, there is an inflatable snow family (and Santa!) bonanza. Good stuff.
And here is everything in one handy Google Map link.
The display at Electric Avenue & Taylor Street will sadly not be up this year. Unfortunately, their Halloween decorations were vandalized, so they are sitting this year out. But the word is that they will be back next year. I hope so!
Thanks to all of the people who work so hard to put on these displays for the enjoyment of all. Thanks also to their neighbors for putting up with the additional traffic. Watching the pretty lights is one of my favorite things to do this season. Enjoy!