It has been a dark year in many respects, but that doesn’t mean it has to end that way.
The organizers of Lewes Lights hope their fun, free community activity will bring “bright light and holiday joy” to people.
From now through Dec. 31, people are encouraged to pick up a driving tour map online and follow it to see some great examples of Lewes homes and businesses decked out for the holidays.
People drive from site to site in the comfort and safety of their automobiles.
The idea came from Christian Mullins and Debra Evalds.
Mullins works in the hotel hospitality industry, which has been pretty non-existent during the pandemic, he said. Although he is a resident of Washington, D.C., he sheltered in Lewes through the spring and summer.
As he watched so many of Lewes’s traditional celebrations being canceled, he didn’t want Christmas to be another casualty.
He and his friends came up with the idea of the lights tour. Using the online and interactive map they set up, people can follow three different routes to see some of the best Christmas decorations in the area.
To pick up a copy of the official tour map, go to leweslights.org and click on map. There is even a video to show you how to use it.
“We wanted to provide an event that is easy to navigate for all generations,” said Mullins.
To keep it even more fun, they added 2020 awards categories: It’s a Wonderful Life Award, traditional category; Making an Entrance Award, best decorated door in Lewes category; Candles & Greens Award, colonial Christmas category; Leg Lamp Award, vintage holiday category; Clark Griswold of Lewes 2020, best “over the top” holiday lights category; and Frozen, Frosty & Fun Award, kid’s choice category. Judges from outside the area are being brought in to choose the winners of the pride — not prize — awards.
Winners will be interviewed and showcased in the local news on Christmas day.
Mullins said his favorite part was that when he went on the tour, he counted 150 additional homes “completely done up and not on the maps.”
Currently, Piltottown Road is the most popular street on the tour, he said.
The idea behind the light tour was to bring people in to Lewes so they would also shop and patronize the local restaurants, said Mullins.
His partner in lights, Evalds, categorized the event as a way to bring joy and smiles to people’s lives.
The tour asks drivers to put on their flashing hazard lights for the duration of their tour so other motorists can identify those looking at the houses.
Public restrooms are available in Mary Vessels Park, The Trailhead at the Lewes Library parking lot, Zwaanendael Park, Canalfront Park and Beach 1.