Tucson – December 2022 – Parade of Lights

For almost 3 decades Tucson has had a Parade of Lights to celebrate the holiday season. After a 2 year absence it is back!

One group had restored fire trucks which were impressive with their size and decorating.

From 1962 until 1977 the Checker Cab Company built these ‘airporter’ cars. They make great sleigh’s for deliveries.

Not sure if the extra lights will drop the range of the Tesla.

A stylish way to bring the snowman to town.

There were a couple of heavy equipment reindeer renditions.

The City of Tucson was well represented.

Just in from the desert.

Towmater from Cars

A full size gingerbread house.

Tow truck carrying tow truck.

The Grinch family has arrived. The parade was tough to photograph, but an excellent event.

Columbus – December 2018 – Franklin Park Conservatory Holiday Lights Revisit

Keeping with the annual repeat visits this weekend, we stopped by the Franklin Park Conservatory for their Holiday Lights exhibit.




The professional division gingerbread house winner.




They have a mix of traditional holiday floral with the the permanent displays.




Chihuly glass.




More floral close ups.








The center hall was all decked out for the season.




The other halls had interesting lighting on the plants.






Outside near the glass blowing studio were additional glass ‘trees’.




The Children’s Garden had the largest display of lights.







The glass block steps in the Palm House were lit.




Additional glass pieces outside on a courtyard.





Afterwards we made a brief stop at a park downtown for additional lights.










Chicago – December 2017 – A Cold Holiday Week

While our visit to Chicago for Christmas wrapped up as one of the coldest ever, it was fantastic. The lights and scenes of the city made being bundled up against the cold worthwhile.

A quick drive over to Burnham Park gave a seasonal perspective of the classic skyline view, minus the boats, but with frozen water instead.

2017 12 27 127 Chicago.jpg




The Tribune Tower’s Nathan Hale statue was decked out for the season.

2017 12 26 10 Chicago.jpg




A different view – the Willis (aka Sears) Tower looking north.

2017 12 28 1 Chicago.jpg




With the extreme cold Lake Michigan iced over in the just few days we were there.

2017 12 28 9 Chicago.jpg




Meanwhile up at Wrigley Field they had set up a Christmas Market, complete with an ice rink.

2017 12 28 69 Chicago.jpg




Our final evening was spent walking along the (now frozen as well) Chicago River.

2017 12 28 98 Chicago.jpg




And a walk along the Magnificent Mile.

2017 12 28 114 Chicago.jpg





Steubenville, OH – December 2016 – Giant Nutcrackers

Christmas eve found us making a quick trip to Steubenville to see a collection of giant themed nutcrackers. But first we made a few stops, starting in the small town of Dresden, where there is yet another giant basket. It was once the home of the Longaberger Basket company, before they moved to their even larger, 7 story basket in Newark.

2016 12 24 2 Dresden OH.jpg


Later we made a stop in New Rumney, Ohio to visit the Ohio Historical Society tribute to the native son George Custer.

2016 12 24 21 New Rumney OH Custer Monument.jpg


As we reached Steubenville we found a nicely restored 1970s Sohio Gas Station, complete with memorabilia inside. Functioning today as just a garage, with the signs at the pumps pointing out ‘no gas  – just memories’; the garage was supposed to be closed that day but someone was working on a car and let us in to check it out.

2016 12 24 29 Steubenville OH Sohio Museum.jpg


Finally we arrived at Fort Steuben to the nutcracker display. A local family, whom we met when we were there, designed and built all of them. With over 100 of them all featuring a famous character or person, it was a very impressive display.

2016 12 24 95 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.jpg


As you entered you came upon the Rat Pack, including Steubenville favorite son Dean Martin.

2016 12 24 34 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.jpg


The hundred characters lined both sides of the sidewalks leading to the old fort.

2016 12 24 83 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.jpg


As we were leaving Steubenville we came upon a sculpture honoring the steel workers, overlooking the valley with the mills still cranking out smoke.

2016 12 24 117 Steubenville OH.jpg


Our day to Steubenville turned out to be a really good day, with the nutcrackers easily being the highlight.

Columbus – December 2016 – Chinese Lantern Festival

This holiday season brought something new to Columbus, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, featuring 39 beautiful lantern displays ranging from a 200 feet long illuminated dragon to glowing tulip-lined walk ways. The lanterns are created by hand using silk fabric, steel frames, and tens of thousands of LED lights.

In addition there were performers displaying amazing balance and skills as they featured traditional Chinese acts featured include: jar balancing, kicking bowls on a rolling board, Chinese face-changing (thoroughly amazing display of slight of hand), martial arts, and umbrella juggling.

This event far exceeded the Wild Lights at the Zoo, and was one of the best light displays I have ever seen.

2016 12 10 80 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg


2016 12 10 128 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg


2016 12 10 159 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg


2016 12 10 175 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg


2016 12 10 189 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg


2016 12 10 89 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.jpg

Columbus – November 2016 – Wild Lights

Each Christmas season the Columbus Zoo has a lighting display called ‘Wild Lights‘. Having never been there, we decided to check it out. Unfortunately we decided to go on a night where you had free admission with canned food, and most of Columbus made the same decision.

The lighting displays were ok, most seemed the same, and it was insanely packed with strollers. I always hope to have a good time at the Zoo and always seem to come home disappointed.

Having said that, here are the highlights of the lights.

2016 11 18 3 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.jpg


2016 11 18 4 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.jpg


2016 11 18 21 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.jpg


2016 11 18 41 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.jpg