Best places to see Christmas lights

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Electric Elf’s favorite light displays have changed since last year’s recommendations. Christmas 2016 brings more patches of darkness and harder-to-find decorations than the previous year — so if you want to check out some good displays, you may have to do a bit of driving.

While the Post is on the case with a few must-see locations, this year we recommend a bit of exploring. One thing we learned from trekking all over back roads is that, while they didn’t make the list, there are some truly lovely Christmas displays around the county. From a small, colorful display right next to the China Grove Police Department to lines of luminaries outside of Bethel Lutheran Church, this year the December night is full of hidden gems.

So have our top picks, but know that they just scratch the surface of what Rowan County has to offer Christmas light enthusiasts.

A Christmas tradition — 185 Deal St., Faith

It’s not Christmas in Rowan County unless you’ve made a stop at the home of Randall Barger in Faith. Barger has been lighting his home and long driveway for roughly 20 years, and the glittering yard features something for everyone. While the home has a Deal Street address, you’ll want to approach from Faith Road and turn down a driveway labeled “Barger Drive.”

Something for everyone — Maupin and Mitchell Avenue

Stay warm and cozy in your car while you loop through the Fulton Heights neighborhood. These two streets feature a variety of decorating styles, from cluttered to classic — if you keep your eyes peeled, you may even see Santa and Mrs. Claus making a get-away in a Volkswagen bus. Approach from the West Innes end of South Fulton Street for extra lights and some elegant decorations.

Candlelight — 378 W. Horah Street

Speaking of South Fulton, make sure you take some extra time to stop by Fairmont Terrace at the corner of Horah and South Fulton. This historic building has a light in every window, evoking the feel of classic Christmas stories that turn the night into something warm and welcoming.

Classic Christmas — Gold Hill

If walking is more your style, you may want to consider a drive out to downtown Gold Hill. The small line of storefronts is a haven of light, and perfect for a slow stroll and some window-shopping.

Bright and shining — 1112 N. Church St.

You may want to pull over to the side of the road to fully appreciate this house. While the yard is as chock-full of displays as many other houses with claim to fame, the all-white-light scheme gives the home a uniformity that makes it truly stand out.

Show stopper — 150 Corriher Gravel Road, China Grove

Get ready to settle in — this location has a light show that runs for half an hour. Park across the road at the Corriher Sand and Stone gated entrance, tune in your radio to the advertised station and watch “Cooley the Snowman” and “Rupert the Christmas Fairy” explore the meaning of Christmas through songs and lights. The show runs twice an hour from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

A grand display — Trapper’s Ridge Drive, Rockwell

This location boasts gorgeous houses along with gorgeous lights. If you’re in the eastern part of the county, it’s a must-see location. Nearly every house in this small subdivision is draped in lights of all varieties. Whether you want color, unique decorations or a more classic look, this is definitely a place to see.

On high — 1708 Old Concord Road

This location is back again with its innovative display. The only lights on this property are hung in the trees, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere that’s as unusual as it is beautiful.