Several Billings neighborhoods welcome holiday visitors with themed displays or special lighting events:
Candy Cane Lane
3000 and 3100 blocks of Avenue E between Rehberg Lane and 32nd Street West and some homes on Judd Circle
Since 1996, neighbors have decorated their homes with crossed candy canes. Many residents add other lighted features, included American flags.
Christmas Wreath Lane
Avenue D from the 1900 block to Rose Park
This is the 51st year that residents have celebrated Christmas with homemade lighted wreaths outside their homes. Homes also have Christmas lights along the eaves, a lit candle and a Christmas figure such as a gingerbread man, angel or snowman.
Some families on the 1800 block of Avenue D also join the neighborhood event.
Lights are on every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.
Santa makes an appearance during the evenings, Dec. 17-23, at the corner of Avenue D and 20th Street, not far from the home of Bill Burdge.
914 Division St.
Outside, white lights outline the sides and roof of the red sandstone house and decorate two large pine trees.
Inside, every room in the house has a tree decorated in a “Christmas Memories” theme by local non-profit groups. Visitors can vote on their favorite tree.
The trees will be up through Jan. 5.
The mansion is open this week, Sunday and Tuesday-Friday for tours at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. On Saturdays, tours start every hour on the hour 10-3 p.m. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Christmas Tree Trail
Crater Lake Avenue from 3600 bloc
to the intersection with Banff
Directions: Take Monad Road and turn north onto 36th Street West. Turn west onto Crater Lake Avenue.
Residents set out illuminated cutouts of evergreen trees in their yards for the holidays. Most homeowners have added lights on their houses and other figures. The displays stay up through Christmas week.
Crater Lake dead-ends into Glantz Drive, which is Misfit Lane during December.
Directions: Drive west on Central Avenue and turn south onto 37th Street West. Turn left onto Mount Rushmore Avenue, turn right onto Muir Woods and then right onto Glantz.
Neighbors have adopted characters from the movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Each home has one large cutout of a Misfit character along with other lights and holiday figures.
1700 block of Mariposa Lane and 1800 blocks
of North and South Mariposa
Directions: Turn west onto Mariposa from 17th Street West between Colton Boulevard and Poly Drive. Drive a loop along the 1700 block of Mariposa then onto North Mariposa. Turn left onto Hoover and then left again onto South Mariposa and back out the 1700 block of Mariposa.
Mariposa Lane residents will light luminarias at dusk Dec. 24, carrying on one of Billings’ most touching Christmas traditions. Votive candles placed in sand-filled sacks will flicker through the night at most of the 38 homes along the route. The tradition started in 1961, when Bobby Switzer, who lived in the neighborhood, set out luminarias, as he had done at his previous home in New Mexico. After he was killed in a bicycle accident before Christmas in 1962, neighborhood children placed luminarias at the boy’s home and others nearby. This year as many as 2,800 luminarias will be placed along the streets and driveways. The city turns off street lights for one night and residents are asked not to turn on lights inside and outside the front of their homes so the beauty of candlelight shines in the night.
Visitors also are asked to turn off their car headlights if possible while driving along Mariposa Lane.
Josephine Crossing in West Billings
Directions: Drive south on Mullowney Lane from Interstate 90. Turn east into the development at Elysian Road. Look for the large green Grinch hand at the entrance.
Residents of Josephine Crossing again will turn their neighborhood into Whoville, with decorations inspired by the Dr. Seuss book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Residents made painted plywood decorations of characters out of the book, Christmas trees and brightly colored, off-beat shapes. Lights are strung across some streets and around porches. Large story boards at the entrance to the subdivision tell how the Grinch stole the Whoville’s Christmas.
Community organizations also celebrate the season with outdoor displays.
Laurel firefighters continue a decades-long tradition of recreating Santa’s workshop in the downtown city park. Mechanical elves, built by firemen and their families years ago, saw blocks, pump up bicycle tires, work on a rocking horse and tinker with an airplane. Other classic Christmas figures also were made by firemen. Three large evergreens are covered with red, green and blue lights. A more recent addition is as tree shining with white lights. The tree, planted in 2009, honors the late Gaylord Easton, a civic-minded Laurel resident who served on the City Council and in the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department.
The lighted display will be up through Jan. 6.
2100 S. Shiloh Rd.
Visitors drive along a 2-mile service road to see “ZooLights,” a series of illuminated outdoor figures. It takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete the trip. Figures range from traditional Christmas figures such as a nutcracker and Santa, to a grizzly bear and tiger. Lights will be on Dec. 18-25, 5-8 p.m.
The cost of ZooLights is $10 per car. There is a $3 discount for a Toys for Tots donation.