Lewes Lights is back for its fourth year in 2023, and registration is open at leweslights.org through the end of November.
Lewes will once again glow Dec. 1-31 with the beauty of lighted homes and businesses, all decorated and illuminated by their generous owners. Lewes locals are the true gift givers, as they decorate their homes to spread joy and delight visiting Light Peepers in and around the First Town in the First State. Lewes Lights continues to embrace the spirit of putting on a homegrown show, produced collectively by the people of Lewes. That spirit has spread a lot of joy, and Lewes Lights is now an expected tradition.
Lewes Lights started spontaneously in 2020 to fill a void left by canceled Christmas events in during shutdowns. Co-founders Christian Mullins and Debra Evalds brainstormed and pieced together a new citywide event to ensure that Christmas would come to Lewes that year. The community did the rest. The first year was particularly heartwarming and magical, as Lewes Lights brightened the lives of many people, from kids out of school to homebound seniors. A promise was made after that first year to make Lewes Lights an annual tradition.
Event Chair Debra Evalds said, “Lewes Lights will keep spreading joy as long as homeowners and businesses put up lights and register for our tour map. We are a small event organizationally, without large expenses or overhead, so Lewes Lights can be run with just a website and signs if the people of Lewes sign up and continue to spread the word. We do not advertise, so help is needed with free PR. We also need more volunteers to organize neighborhoods, and a tech person willing to make a better map for us is my personal Christmas wish.”
Lewes Lights is free for all, self-funded, and not corporate sponsored. It truly is a grassroots gift for the community. The backbone and strength of Lewes Lights are the wonderful homeowners and businesses that decorate and light up Lewes to glow together.
As in past years, the Lewes Lights tour map features Lewes-area properties east of Route 1, from neighborhoods along Gills Neck Road to the New Road area. These homes may be registered and are eligible to compete for awards if they wish. However, the elves know some Christmas light enthusiasts west of Route 1 want a way to list their decorated homes too.
New for 2023 is the WOW-Wonderful Homes West of One page on the Lewes Lights website. Evalds said, “People always ask where the best lighted houses and neighborhoods are. I created the WOW page to list these houses and neighborhoods all over Lewes, both to highlight the efforts and Christmas spirit of the homeowners, and to let people know where they can find the Clark Griswolds of the 19958. There are some incredibly decorated homes west of [Route 1], and the WOW page will feature them.” Homeowners may visit the leweslights.org website for more information and how to sign up their home or neighborhood.
Competition is optional, and those who register homes on the tour map can select if they wish to compete in one of these four categories: For Kids From 1-92, Merry Christmas To You Award - whimsical and fun decor that brings out the child in everyone; Christmas Past Award - vintage vibes from the 1930s-’80s that harken back to a simpler time in Lewes; White Christmas Award - white lights, style and beautiful décor that captures the magic of the season; and the Colors of Christmas Award - colorful lights and decorations that glow with the spirit of the season and spread Christmas cheer.
The Jingle Bell Lane Award is secretly selected for the best street in Lewes and is judged for cumulative jolliness. The streets are judged as a whole, with registered and nonregistered homes adding to the overall spirit. So, Lewes Lights encourages neighbors to help neighbors decorate and make their street stand out as the best!
In prior years, organizers have held an opening ceremony to flip the switch and officially kick off Lewes Lights. This year, everyone will know the Christmas season has arrived when the Lewes Lights homes and neighborhoods start to glow in time for Christmas Parade weekend in Lewes, starting Friday, Dec. 1. See complete registration and event details at leweslights.org.