Bundle up the family, grab to-go cups of hot cocoa and hit the road for the magic of Christmas light displays in Centralia, Chehalis and beyond in Lewis County. It just wouldn’t be Christmas time without twinkling lights. Bulbs blinking red and green or classic white are a part of the holidays that inspires yuletide cheer.
Historic Downtown Centralia is a holiday shopper’s dream with the streets and store windows adorned with festive decorations. Be sure to swing into Central Park on Tower Avenue and enjoy the lighted alleyway’s trees. It’s the perfect spot for a cute selfie! Just around the corner on Pearl Street, find a massive Christmas tree in the light circled Washington Park.
On the other side of Centralia is the area’s largest light display at Borst Park. This drive-through holiday fun is a family favorite. From the comfort of the car, view the colorful displays, including many animated ones. In its ninth season, there are new scenes every year keeping this tradition fresh. The display is open December 6 to 25 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a cost of $5 per car, $10 for small buses and $12 for larger buses.
For an incredible light display that is extraordinarily fun and immersive to view from the sidewalk, take the family to a massive show on Cedar and Walnut Street near Centralia College.
Downtown Chehalis is a jolly exhibition for holiday shoppers. The painted store windows, light pole hangings and lights are a dreamy backdrop for the season. On the other end of the city find an adorable gingerbread house on the corner of South Market Blvd. and 13th Street. A little further down 13th Street the Christmas train display across from Shaw Aquatics Center is a delight to passersby.
The historic Westside neighborhood is a lovely example of the spirit of the holidays. One house that stands out is the Murphy home adjacent Westside Park at 865 N.W. Hood Place. For over 30 years, Gary and Dorothy Murphy work to create the amazing holiday display complete with Santa and his reindeer upon the rooftop. Starting with just a few strings of lights, the massive expression of holiday cheer grows each year and encompasses the whole block. The entire family helps to get the lights and inflatables up and working. The hard work really shows in the creativity of this festive display.
A drive south from Chehalis on Jackson Highway always reveals nice displays of twinkling lights. Continue to Valley Meadows Loop for a fun neighborhood to drive through.
For an amazing holiday light show that includes a synchronized song-and-dance extravaganza check out Parsons Light-O-Rama Light Show. Tune the car’s radio to 88.7 FM and hear the music that corresponds with the moving light display. It takes over an hour per song to set up and a week to get both the stagnant lights on the house and the Light-O-Rama hung. Drive-by this outstanding display at 197 Awmiller Road in Winlock Sunday to Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. starting Thanksgiving weekend.
Mike Blomgren and Kathy Tiernan’s charming home light display on Tennessee Road is a decade long effort. Mike enjoys creating the display that takes a week to put together. The Christmas spirit is alive in this fun and colorful work of art.
The World’s Largest Egg downtown is always fun, but the iconic landmark is made festive with the lighted Christmas tree nearby.
Morton and More
Gust Backstrom Park features a dazzling display of lights in the park starting December 7 as part of East Lewis County Christmas in the Mountains Celebration. Part of that celebration includes the annual Mineral Residential Decorating Contest. This Mineral Lake Lyons Club event is for residents to have their outside decorations judged. Winners are announced at the Mineral Olde Town Christmas Event on December 14 but everyone passing by can enjoy the efforts of the residents in the area.
Head further east to see the Blessings from Ben star and message of share the love on the hill above Randle on Peters Road. This special display is in memory of Ben Eastman.
The Packwood Improvement Club encourages the holiday spirit with Let’s Light Up Packwood. Residents and business owners compete to see who creates the best light display. Most of the businesses in town decorate, as well as many homes of High Valley. Defending first place winners for two of the three years of the competition are Gene and Laurie Seiber. View their house’s display including a blue waterfall feature, at Cowlitz View Drive and Maple Way. Other area displays include the corner of Canon and Sunstone Road. Local businesses such as the Chevron and Packwood Spirits are also part of the light fight. Winners are judged on December 18 and entry forms available at Blanton’s Market and Packwood Spirits.
The winter light traditions of Lewis County communities brighten the dark nights of winter and the spirits of all who set their eyes on them. The efforts of those homeowners whose homes are awash in holiday cheer despite bitter cold and tangled lights, pushing the limits of creativity to share the best and brightest light displays do not go unappreciated.