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. Bundle up the family, grab to-go cups of hot cocoa, turn on the Christmas tunes and hit the road for the magic of Christmas light displays in Centralia, Chehalis and beyond in Lewis County.
While part of the fun is hunting for the biggest and brightest light displays, there are a few places to look online to get you going in the right direction. Lewis County, WA Christmas Lights & Displays is a newly formed Facebook group listing the area’s festive displays. Pacific NW Christmas Lights also features displays all over the Pacific Northwest, with a few right here in Lewis County.
Historic Downtown Centralia is a holiday shopper’s dream with the streets and shop windows adorned with festive decorations. 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 tenth season, there are new scenes every year keeping this tradition fresh. The display is open December 4 to 26 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a cost of $5 per car, $10 for small buses and $15 for larger buses.
Neighborhoods with their Christmas cheer on display include Bengal Court, the Logan District and the letter streets.
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 to 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 up on 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.
Continue south to The World’s Largest Egg in Winlock. The iconic landmark is made festive with the lighted Christmas tree nearby.
Gust Backstrom Park features a dazzling display of lights in the park 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.
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.
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.