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Holiday light tours a bright idea

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Cathy Dobson

The number of homeowners asking to be part of Scott Williams’ holiday lights tour is down this year but those who are participating have gone all-out.

“There are more with light shows and music,” says Williams who began mapping out Sarnia-Lambton’s best routes to enjoy the lights in 2020.

It was the first year of the pandemic and Williams figured he could brighten up a lot of lives by encouraging local residents to get out and see the lights in December.

1247 Thomas Drive, Sarnia. (Cathy Dobson photo)

That first year, he created 13 routes featuring 115 houses and spread the word by creating a Facebook group called Sarnia-Lambton Holiday Lights Tour. The number of registered homeowners that wanted to be on the tour grew last year, but has shrunk to 80 homes on 11 maps in 2022.

But Williams isn’t concerned.

“It’s not a competition,” he said. “It’s about getting out and about in Sarnia-Lambton and having a good time.”

Some homeowners, like the ones at 440 St. Lawrence St. in College Park, have stepped it up by syncing their lights with music, and adding some singing trees and a selfie station.

At 73 Turner Dr., the Grinch hands out candy canes every Saturday evening and there’s a collection box for donated non-perishables.

73 Turner Drive, Sarnia. (Cathy Dobson Photo)

“I love that it’s super positive,” said Williams who is a senior analyst with TD bank. “I hope it’s encouraging others to light up their homes.”

It’s difficult to quantify, but he feels certain the traffic along his holiday routes is increasing and his maps are getting well-used. Not only are there 10,000 people in his holiday tours Facebook group, but 13,000 people responded when he announced on Dec. 8 that this year’s maps were ready to download.

Many people print them while others prefer to use a link that sends them to any type of connective device for use in a vehicle.

This year, there are maps specific to Petrolia and Corunna for the first time. Most routes are 15 to 20 minutes but some are a little longer.

Be prepared to stop and get out of your car, Williams said. At least 10 houses have set up donation drop-offs and have interactive features like selfie stations.

For details, visit Facebook group: Sarnia-Lambton Holiday Lights Tour.

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73 Turner Drive, Sarnia. (Cathy Dobson Photo)

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