‘Tis the season for holiday festivities. With just a few weeks until Christmas, most local cities have decked their downtown with garland, bows, and thousands of Christmas lights.
Springfield’s downtown was lit Nov. 30 at their annual Christmas in the City. The event included crafts for children, carolers, and a parade to usher Santa Claus into the town. Santa flipped the switch to light the entire down town area and the magic was continued with a wonderful firework show.
Another location to observe beautiful lights during this festive season is the Columbus Zoo which is celebrating its twenty-fifth year of Wild Lights and decorates the entire park with millions of strands formed to create everyone’s favorite animals. Wild Lights takes place from Nov. 22 through Jan. 5.
Clifton Mill is a local favorite for viewing light displays. Located just down the road in Yellow Springs, Clifton Mill covers their entire property in red and white strands adding up to 3.5 million lights. The mill includes a restaurant, a Santa Claus museum, and a light show on their covered bridge to various songs by the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. The mill also provides visitors an amazing view along with the relaxing sound of the water that rushes through from the Clifton gorge. Clifton Mill is open every night from 5 to 9 p.m. until Jan. 1.
Although lights seem so ingrained into the holiday season, modern Christmas lights have only been a part of American festivities since 1903 when General Electric provided pre-assembled kits for the season of stringed lights. Historically however, Christmas lights began as candles that delicately balanced on the tree. Due to fire hazards, however, Christmas trees at that time were brought into the home a few days before Christmas and taken down immediately after. Lights over time have continued to evolve from those dim beginnings into General Electric’s kits and further into the creation of NOMA electric company that mass produced the novelty creating a twinkling tree in nearly every American house hold. They created the bubble light common in the 1930s through the 1950s. However, incandescent lights were brought back to the stage which is what are most commonly used today. These bulbs come in various sizes from the vintage looking larger ones to the miniature fairy lights. Today the only advancement we see in Christmas lights is the use of LED lights which have been used to display wonderful light shows that have been trending this time of year on YouTube.