Families packing into cars this Christmas Eve to participate in the age-old pasttime of viewing displays of holiday lights have plenty of options for across the North Olympic Peninsula.
In Clallam County, one of the grandest displays can be viewed in Blyn, where various Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe buildings including 7 Cedars Casino are completely wrapped in lights.
Again this year, nearly two million LED (light-emitting diode) lights are strung along the casino, Longhouse Market & Deli, Jamestown Family Dental Clinic, fire station and the south and north campuses of the tribal headquarters.
Landscape contractor Patrick Walker of Gig Harbor, who has set up the display for a decade, has said it takes an average of 14 people three weeks to install the lights each year.
The LEDs replaced conventional bulbs four years ago, according to Bill Laubner, facilities manager.
The display was turned on a few days before Thanksgiving and will be turned off and taken down after New Year’s weekend.
Lights adorn businesses and residences throughout town, including one of the brightest spots — West Sylvester Court off of North Kendall Road.
Other colorful scenes can be found on Sequim Avenue, West Hendrickson Road, West Diane Drive, East Willow Street and Dunlap Avenue.
Out in Forks, “There are several areas of town that have beautiful lights and decorations,” said Lissy Andros, Forks Chamber of Commerce executive director, on Wednesday.
This includes several private residences and businesses, Andros said.
In Port Angeles, there are numerous options spread across town.
Those who don’t want to drive around searching on their own can hitch a ride with All Points Charters and Tours of Port Angeles. For a fee, they will be taken on a circuit of the city by owner Willie Nelson, who said he has been giving Christmas light tours for the past 11 years.
“It is fun,” Nelson said Wednesday. “I get a lot of pleasure out of the kids that go and it has become a family tradition for a lot of families. They do it every year. It is part of their Christmas. I enjoy that part of it.”
Conducting tours lifts his spirits, he said.
“I talk and tell some stories along the way.”
This year, the tour will last about two hours, starting at 7 tonight, originating from the Safeway parking lot on Third and Lincoln streets.
On Christmas Eve, he will have two tours, one starting at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. — also from the Safeway parking lot.
Refreshments will be served along the way.
Reservations are required. To serve a seat and find information about the fee, call 360-460-7131.
So far this year — tours started Dec. 14 — Nelson said he has been taking an average of 15 to 20 people on each tour.
“I try to do as efficient a job as I can and show as many lights in as little space as possible,” Nelson said.
“I have a special route that I run that I develop every year to maximize the viewing.”
Holiday lights complete the season, Nelson said.
“It is winter time, it’s drab and you go out and you see all these beautiful lights. It brightens up the dark nights of winter.”
Over in Jefferson County, Port Townsend has several viewing opportunities.
Notable viewing opportunities can be found both downtown and uptown, as well as at several private residences, according to the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
Down in Quilcene, the little community is shining bright for the holidays.
“We dig Christmas. We love Christmas here. We go crazy with the lights. It brings a lot of smiles to everybody’s face,” said Richard Chadwick, who said he “hangs up most of the lights in Quilcene.”
The town on U.S. Highway 101 south of Port Townsend sports many decorated businesses, he said.
Among them is the building that once was the Chevron gas station in the middle of town. It has 10 or 12 Christmas trees decorated individually along with other displays, he said.
“It’s like a drive-through Christmas scene.”
Lights also grace the Quilcene Village Store, the Hamilton-Worthington House, US Bank, Henery’s Hardware, the Twana Road House and Gear Head Deli, to name a few.
The Quilcene School is emblazoned in the school colors of purple and gold and a windmill at Quilcene Gardens is decorated with lights.
“Right there also is Picket Fence,” Chadwick said. “She has got that entire corner lit up. She’s close to the 10,000-light range.”
Here is a sampling of Christmas light displays, courtesy of the second annual Clallam County Christmas Light Displays Facebook Page and other sources.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but only a sample of what’s out there to be admired.
• Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, multiple buildings along US. Highway 101.
• Klahndike Boulevard.
• Robin Hood Loop area.
• Evergreen Loop.
• Merchant Road.
• Thomas Edition off Calawah Way.
• Hungry Bear Cafe, U.S. Highway 101, in Beaver.
• Forks Avenue Real Estate, 711 S. Forks Ave.
• Lunsford Real Estate and Property Management, 121 Campbell St.
• Downtown Port Angeles.
• East Lauridsen Boulevard and South Albert Street.
• East Seventh and South Chambers streets.
• West 10th and South J streets.
• West Sixth and I streets.
• South Oak Street and West Motor Avenue.
• East Seventh and South Francis streets.
• West Eighth and South N streets.
• Family Veterinary Clinic, 3217 E. Mahogany St.
• Sunset Do It Best Hardware, 518 Marine Drive.
• East 10th and South Lincoln streets.
• West 10th and South L streets.
• South O between West 14th and 16th streets.
• 460 Guy Kelly Road.
• 209 Juniper Lane.
• Samara Drive.
• 733 Brooks Ave.
• Third Avenue and North Beech Street.
• North Beech Avenue and East Fifth Avenue.
• Fourth Avenue.
• Port Angeles Boat Haven, 832 W. Boathaven Drive.
• 591 Kemp Street.
• 410 Chambers Street.
• 600 block South Ennis Street
• S. Liberty St. between E. 5th St. and E. Lauridsen Blvd.
• Deer Park Road (across motocross track).
• Cathleen St. cul de sac.
• West 12th Street between South C and South B streets.
• 923 W. 14th St.
• 1316 B. St.
• Corner of 13th St. and A Street
• Best Friends Pet Care, 1004 W. 16th St.
• 1014 Georgiana St.
• Downtown Sequim
• E. Alder St.
• 600 block of East Spruce Street.
• East Fir Street and North Matriotti Avenue.
• East Fir Street and North Dunlap Avenue.
• North Holler Avenue and East Willow Street.
• 400 block of East Fir Street.
• 500 block of East Fir Street.
• East Fir Street and North Sunnyside Avenue.
• Sequim Medical Plaza, 777 N. Fifth Ave.
• Kendall Road.
• West Alder Street and North Fifth Avenue.
• 200 block of West Prairie Street.
• West Maple Street and South Fourth Avenue.
• South Seventh Avenue and West Hemlock Street.
• Ninth Avenue and West Helen Court.
• 1000 block of West Spruce Court.
• West Oak Court off of West Hendrickson Road.
• 7002 Old Olympic Highway.
• Winterhawk Street off Carlsborg Road.
• Emerald Highlands Way near Miller Road.
• South Seventh Avenue and West Hammond Street.
• 331 Dosewallips Road.
• Whitney Gardens and Nursery, 306264 Highway 101.
• 1822 state Highway 20.
• Resort At Port Ludlow, 1 Heron Road
• Cascade Lane.
• Cressey Lane.
• Downtown Port Townsend.
• Uptown business district.
• Vintage Hardware and Lighting, 2000 W. Sims Way.
• McPherson and Thomas Streets north of Vintage Hardware.
• Parkside Drive between Hancock and Ninth streets.
• Hancock Street and Sims Way.
• Eighth Street between Hancock and Hendricks streets.
• 4321 Lopez Ave.
• 2041 McNeil St.
• 1680 Monroe St.
• 2030 Monroe St.
• Quilcene Village Store, 294235 Highway 101.
• Hamilton-Worthington House, 151 Columbia St.
• US Bank, 14890 Center Road.
• Henery’s Hardware, 294382 Highway 101.
• Twana Road House, 294793 Highway 101.
• Gear Head Deli, 294963 Highway 101.