Families packing the hot chocolate, coffee, snacks and kids into the car this weekend for the age-old pastime of viewing holiday lights have plenty of options across the North Olympic Peninsula.
The most impressive is the mammoth light display put on by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Blyn.
Some 2 million lights are wrapped around 7 Cedars Casino, the Longhouse Market & Deli, the Jamestown Family Dental Clinic, fire station and the north and south campuses of the tribal headquarters.
Traveling east from there is Sequim, with a number of holiday light shows.
Noteworthy Sequim displays include the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse at 2741 Towne Road and the downtown businesses along Washington and Fifth avenues.
Several downtown Sequim residences are decked out in holiday glory:
• On the east end are a pair of eye-catching residences on the 800 block of East Alder Street, as well as one at the intersection of East Spruce and North Dunlap Avenue.
• Moving west, the 200 blocks of West Hammond and West Prairie streets, about three blocks south of the downtown core, are worth a gander, then travel north on Fourth Avenue for a display on West Alder Street, and left (west) on Fir Street, where displays are dazzling on the 700 and 900 blocks.
• About one mile up South Third Avenue after turning left on West Stephens Place, a display is near the turnaround. High beams are bothersome for neighbors living there.
• From the 300 block to the 4000 block of Happy Valley Road, turn left or right from South Third Avenue and look for some bright homes behind trees.
• Going west from Sequim-Dungeness Way onto Old Olympic Highway, about one mile from Hardy’s Market, turn right onto Elizabeth Lane and the first house on the left has a lighted display with projections, inflatables and an assortment of lights and decorations along the fence and the house.
• From Old Olympic Highway, turn left onto North Kendall Road and make another left onto West Sylvester Court for a lawn full of friendly inflatables and Christmas lights.
• Check out a pair of impressive light shows along West Hendrickson Road, from Sherwood Assisted Living west toward Ledford Place and West Oak Court. Loop back around to Fifth Avenue and check out the lit cherry trees and, off to the east, lights adorning the Jamestown Family Health Clinic.
• Get back on Old Olympic Highway, then turn right onto Cays Road; the first house on the left with a white gate has a variety of Christmas lights wrapped around the house and the property and a manger scene.
In the Port Angeles area, one way to see all the displays and get the inside scoop on the best ones is to allow someone else to do the driving.
All Points Charters and Tours operator Willie Nelson, 72, recently announced that this will be his last holiday season of showing families the best holiday lights in Port Angeles.
Nelson began the popular tour in 2005. Every year, he scoped out the most intricate, flashy, hidden or just plain pretty outdoor holiday light displays in Port Angeles.
This year, he started the holiday light tours Dec. 13. His 12-seat mini-coach leaves daily at 6:45 p.m. from the north end of the Port Angeles Safeway supermarket parking lot at 110 E. Third St.
On Christmas Eve, he will end his season with two tours leaving from the Safeway at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A highlight of the Christmas Eve tours is traveling down East Second Street between Ennis and Jones streets with headlights off so that nothing competes with the luminarias resident display on the sidewalks.
Tickets for the two-hour, 20-mile tour are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 6 to 12. Children age 5 and younger ride free.
The Christmas light tours go as far west as O Street and as far east as Ennis Street. The nightly tours include a stop for cocoa, coffee and cookies at Park View Villas.
Nelson recently said the best light displays are in the same locations every year. Others tend to come and go.
Nelson said there is a “really nice display” on Tenth Street in Port Angeles between B and C streets.
He was also pleased with a display on O Street near 14th Street along with one near it, one block west on Rolling Hills Drive.
The Rolling Hills Drive display, he said, was “marvelous” and is situated in a cul-de-sac.
The newest highlight is at Third and Oak streets — “pretty cool,” he added.
If you decide to go on your own, the annual Clallam County Christmas Light Displays Facebook page has a long list.
Among businesses to check out are the Family Veterinary Clinic at 3217 Mahogany St., Sunset Hardware at 518 Marine Drive, and Angeles Mill Works at 1601 S. C St.
Barely within city limits is a display worth seeing at 1830 E. Woodhaven Lane off South Golf Course Road.
In Forks, Peninsula Daily News columnist Zorina Barker reports that Evergreen Loop has what appears to be the biggest cluster of decorated homes.
She also has seen some decorated homes in the area of Mayberry and K streets.
There are also some at the intersection of G and Sixth streets.
“Some of the cul-de-sacs off Klahndike have some nicely decorated homes,” she said, along with a few homes in the dark stretches along U.S. Highway 101 between Forks and Beaver.
Also in Beaver, she said, the Hungry Bear Cafe is very decorated.
Driving down Forks Avenue, there are city decorations beginning with the “Seasons Greetings” tinsel and light banner at the north end of Forks. The city tree is just past the Shell station by the town’s totem pole.
Freelance photographer Lonnie Archibald recommends the colorful display at the Bob Ball place at 630 Klahndike Blvd. in Forks.
For the past few weeks, the road into Port Townsend has been illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights. Santas, snowmen, wreaths, a creche and other symbols of the season cheerfully greet traffic near the intersection of Mill Road and West Sims Way.
“My mother, Millie Smith, started this lighting tradition in 1976,” recalled Carol Wise, a Port Townsend native. “Every year she would adorn the yard with those big, old-fashioned lights and other vintage decorations.”
In an homage to her mother, Wise continues the tradition. Nine years ago she took over decorating the yard. This year, over 20,000 lights brighten the corner. It took a month to organize and complete.
“When Millie did this, little kids would come by with their parents. Then those kids brought their kids. Now those grandkids are bringing their kids to see the lights,” she said.
“It means so much to me. My mother died five years ago in April so now this is my charge. I’m so excited to be doing something nice for my community. “
The display can be seen at 3049 West Sims Way.
Other impressive holiday lighting displays can be seen at Vintage Hardware & Lighting, 2000 Sims Way, and a home with myriad lights at 4321 Lopez St.
Fir Street also is punctuated with holiday lights.
The community tree is at Haller Fountain, at the base of the Taylor Street stairs.
Cedar Avenue has several homes decorated brightly for Christmas.
Lights blink to music at Ton Gadow’s intricate display at First Street and Cedar Ave. The outline Marley Jered’s home at 10 Cedar Ave., and define an elf’s smiling face at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Montgomery Street.
A windmill is formed in holiday lights on Maple Street and a home is brightly decorated at the end of Upland Court.
Richard Chadwick, who has hung most of the Christmas lights in Quilcene for the past three years, reported that he had a little help this year.
Seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders from Quilcene School District did in three hours what would have taken Chadwick to do in five days, he said.
Among their masterpieces are Quilcene Henery Hardware at 294382 U.S. Highway 101, US Bank on 101 and Center Road, the town tree in the parking lot of a group of businesses that includes the U.S. Post Office at 101, Linger Longer Road and Rogers Street.
One of the juniors did the Quilcene Museum on the corner of Center Road and East Columbia Street, Chadwick said.
“He reached the very top of a huge A-frame,” he said.
The students also decorated their own school at 294715 Highway 101 in school colors of purple and gold, Chadwick said.
Other highlights are the Gear Head Deli at 294963 Highway 101, a house at Center and East Quilcene roads, and the First Presbyterian Church on Highway 101 and Washington Street.
“It’s lit up almost like a house,” Chadwick said.
In a class by itself is a home at Highway 101 and Lake Leland Cutoff two miles north of Quilcene. The homeowner, who starts putting lights in the middle of September, hangs 67,000 lights, Chadwick said.
“If you drive by on the highway, there’s a glow off the road,” he said.
“For some reason everybody kind of went crazy this year,” Chadwick said. “It’s good to see.”