Whether it’s the glimmer of fairy lights on the tree or the reflection of the tinsel as it catches the light, with Christmas comes the promise of twinkling lights. Many cities and towns all over the world hold Christmas light switch on’s that feature celebrities, the odd mug of mulled wine and even the big man himself – Santa! But there are some cities around the world who take their Christmas lighting displays seriously, enlisting the help of specialist lighting teams and a whole load of wiring to create some of the most amazing displays. As I love to drag the grump to a good light switch on, I thought i’d browse the net for some of the best and share them with you…
Rio’s Christmas tree
Regularly dubbed as one of the most spectacular and largest Christmas trees in the world, Rio’s floating tree looks amazing as it’s unveiled to the roar of fireworks and the vibrancy of a synchronised lighting show. Comprised of over 3.1 million twinkling lights and over 105km of rope lights, this jaw dropping display of Christmas magic is put together and displayed every year by a local insurance company (it’s been this way since 1996). The tree weighs 350 tonnes and towers at just over 53 metres in height. In fact, Guinness handed it a world record as the world’s largest floating Christmas tree. To enjoy these colourful celebrations, you’ll need to head over to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
This is more than just your average shopping and dining district, because come festive season, Japan’s Shiodome Caretta is Illuminated in some serious style! Each year, the masterminds behind the project choose a theme to guide their creation formed of over 250,000 LED Lights and countless projections. Last year saw the development transformed into a sea of blue, with thousands of sparkling blue lights creating a 15-metre walkway called the ‘Valley of light’ for LED junkies to revel in 😍.
Colombia’s Lighting of Medellin
Centered around the winding Medellin River, the Christmas Lighting of Medellin is the most anticipated event of the year. As the unofficial start of the festive period in Columbia, the event just keeps getting bigger and better! Events centered around the display start at the beginning of December and run up until the beginning of January. Millions of lights are hung around the river to create a captivating tangled network of sparkling lights. This is a must visit Christmas destination for the serious ‘lighting display hunter’ in you.
Newport Beach, California
Now in its 108th year, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the most animated and unique displays of Christmas cheer on the planet. Over one million people gather every year to witness everything from beautifully hand decorated yachts and kayaks to multi-million dollar boats cruising the 1.4 miles through the harbour. The event’s not taken lightly though (excuse the pun 😉), as boat owners have been known to spend up to $50,000 on illuminating their boat (crazy hey!). If you plan to pay this place a visit, you can expect music, dancing, costumes and a whole lot of twinkling lights. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for Santa sailing on by….
How far have you traveled for a Christmas light switch on? Is there any ‘switch on’s’ that you think can out do any of these? Let me know in the comments below…