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Annual tour of light begins

Statesboro becomes city of lights for holiday season

   Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of three stories  offering guidelines regarding notable holiday   displays in  the area. Check out the Statesboro Herald Saturday and Sunday for more directions to homes decorated for  Christmas.

           Load up the car, put in a Christmas CD and prepare for an eyeful of delights while driving around Statesboro’s streets. People have captured the essence of Christmas with colorful lights, Nativity scenes and animated figurines.

            Downtown Statesboro is always pretty during the holidays, but don’t forget to take a leisurely cruise around the neighborhoods. You never know when you’ll turn a corner and see a delightful display, such as the one at the Sugar Plum Fairy next to the Statesboro Regional Library.

            Santa is there, resting and soaking his feet after a long year of planning his trip around the world Christmas Eve. The tub of “bubbles” looks so inviting.

            Drive down Savannah Avenue as well, taking a zig-zag down the side streets in the neighborhood. Some homes took the whimsical route while others are stately in their holiday apparel.

            An apartment at Cone Homes is a riot of color. Louise Quick looks forward every year to  decorating her yard and home for the enjoyment of passersby. The colorful exhibit is cheery and worth a look.

            If you’re on the east side of town, check out the Burnsed’s home in Bel-Air subdivision. The family covers its house and yard each year with what seems to be miles of crystalline white lights, with a spot of color here and there. Several other homes in the area provide interesting scenery, too.

             A drive down Lakeview Road will find Santa taking off in a well-lit sleigh, reflected over a pond. Other homes are spotlighted or glow with strings of lights, showing an ornamental wreath here, an inflatable snowman there. Drivers will want to cruise around and explore the side roads in this neighborhood as well. You never know what delights are just around the corner!

            A couple homes along U.S. 80 West just outside of the city limits are tastefully and artfully decorated. And just a bit further, Hunter’s Pointe is a worthy destination. Rudolph seems to  take flight in one family’s yard. At another home, Santa dances with a reindeer in a chimney. He reappears down the street in his sleigh - proving he is magical!

            A house is a study in neatness where lights outline windows and doors, huge colored bulbs glowing. Another home displays a beautiful green lighted tree in an upstairs foyer window. Again, here and there are the houses that are simple yet elegant - spotlights on wreaths, red bows and greenery. One home, however, put a different spin on the wreath idea and the colors are unique and classy.

            Santa sports a brown beard at one home - maybe he is Santa Jr.?

            Heading west again, take a gander at some yards off U.S. 80 West just a few yards down from Rolling Woods subdivision. A realistic sleigh with moving deer has Santa ready to ride, glowing from the beam of swag lights. Angels herald the coming of Christ alongside a peaceful Nativity scene, an exhibit of the homeowner’s efforts.

            And when you get to Friendship Baptist Church, know that there is a story behind the Nativity scene. The late Hazel Scott, a church member, worked hard on the wooden figures, hoping to complete the project before she passed away with cancer. Church members joined together to finish her project, which stands as a memorial to her. Inside the church is a memorial tree for another church member who passed away from cancer recently - Lynn Fail.

            Heading back into the Statesboro City limits, take Friendship Church Road to Williams Road, then to Veteran’s  Memorial Parkway and enjoy the scenery. Going back towards the center of town, take Denmark Street and enjoy the sights of several wonderfully decorated homes. A tour of Johnson Street is a must, with at least one home all dolled up for the holidays, with colorful lights twinkling with festivity.

            Head over to Baldwin Street and other streets in that neighborhood and see how many Rudolphs and Santas appear.

            These are only suggestions, for there are many well-decorated homes and businesses in the Statesboro area. Explore streets where you’ve never visited. Some homes decorate every year while others may be on display for the first time ever. Whether the yard is filled with Santas, snowmen and reindeer, or lights form a cross on the roof casting a glow over a nativity scene, or a house sends off a peaceful message with green wreaths, red bows and spotlights, it all says Merry Christmas, and a night of touring to see the lights with friends and loved ones makes the holiday even more special.

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