Lights and magic

Published 7:51 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

Throughout Beaufort County and points beyond, tis the season of lights and wonders. In each town and city, on light poles and houses, Christmas lights pierce the darkness each night, softly shining and lifting spirits of those passing by. For anyone not yet feeling the Christmas spirit, a simple drive around to look at the lights may be just what the doctor ordered.

At the Washington waterfront, vessels of every shape and size are festooned with lights and decorations. The downtown area is bathed in ambiance cast by the municipal lights, and houses everywhere are lit up and decked with greenery.

Northbound travelers may find it worth the drive to see the Hoggard Christmas Wonderland just outside of Windsor. Boasting the title of North Carolina’s largest light display, the drive-through experience has more than 500,000 lights, all meticulously arranged for maximum effect.

Headed south on N.C. Highway 17, a light display in Ernul, just between Bridgeton and Vanceboro, has become a holiday favorite for many local families. Open to the public, this display invites visitors to walk around in a winter wonderland, complete with a Christmas train and Santa’s sleigh, both of which make for great photo opportunities with the kids.

Keep going a little bit further, and New Bern is decked out in lights as well. In the Trent Woods neighborhood especially, thousands upon thousands of lights, arranged in balls and other designs, illuminate the entire neighborhood. It’s truly a wondrous sight to behold.

While you’re towards the southern edge of the county, it’s also worth a stop to a very special house at 805 Purser Road in Vanceboro. Masterminded by area resident Mike Purser, the house has been adorned with lights in a synchronized display that visitors can fully enjoy by tuning their car radios to 100.1 FM. As the music fills the car, the lights dance in beautiful synchronicity.

While these are hot spots for light lookers in the area, there are countless other gorgeous displays in the surrounding area, maybe in your very own neighborhood. So put the keys in the ignition crank up the carols and hit the road at some point this week. You might just find the spirit of Christmas.