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Do this! A Fresno Christmas Light Tour (2013 edition)

I0DFT.AuSt.8 With all the houses and neighborhoods listed in our holiday-light roundup, it was guaranteed we’d miss a few. For instance, the area bordered by Fruit and West and Sierra and Bullard avenues in central Fresno.

The holiday lights here are quaint when compared to the twinkling-wonderland that is Christmas Tree Lane or the massive light-explosion of Clovis’ Cindy Lane. But for more than 30 years, the homes, sidewalks and medians of the neighborhood have been softly lit with luminarias on Christmas eve.

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Do This! The 2012 Fresno Synced Christmas Light Tour

All right, Christmas-light chasers, we’ve reached the time of the year where you’re hunting for colorful displays. Like in years past, we’ve put together a guide to houses that do something a little different — they create dancing lights shows set to music.

Inspired by that viral video turned Miller Lite, these tech-savvy homeowners add a different element to light-looking. Something beyond Christmas Tree Lane and Cindy Lane. This is more like a choose-your-own-adventure outing, where the family piles into the car and criss-crosses the city to watch these shows one at a time. There’s no official map or organization behind the displays. We’ve tracked the houses the past few years. But the light shows come and go, depending on the year. So feel free to send us updates! Look below for a Google Map.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than buying me a Lexus

1. GO SEE SOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
OK, so maybe some thugs ruined Christmas Tree Lane for ya this year, but there’s still the great display at Cindy Lane (below, my personal fave), the synced light displays (I’m mapping it out for you later today), Zoo Lights, Holiday Fun in the Tower or just whatever’s in your neighborhood.

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The Fresno Synced Christmas Light Tour

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This weekend, I’m preparing for my annual outing to look at Christmas lights with my wife. Over the years, our tour has grown and changed — but we usually start at Christmas Tree Lane and finish in Clovis at Cindy Lane.

One recent addition to the list is the houses that synchronize their light displays to music.They use low-power FM transmitters to stream music to a radio station. Then passers-by tune in to listen to Christmas music while watching the light show.

This sorta thing grew in popularity after Miller Lite ran a commercial with a light display synced to a Trans Siberian Orchestra song. There are five houses locally doing it that I know about — including the one pictured above at 6047 N. Winchester Ave.

If you’re looking for something new to add to your light-looking journey, you could make your own tour:

Of note this weekend: The house on Citadel Avenue will be collecting money for the Marjaree Mason Center on Friday and Saturday. Volunteers will be out there serving up hot chocolate, and money raised goes to the local domestic violence shelter.

Below is a video (not shot by me) from the Sierra Avenue house.

[photo: Carrie Zulewski]

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Where do you look at Christmas lights?

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“Outside of Christmas Tree Lane, there’s nothing too Christmas-y in Fresno.” I read that on a local blog the other day and was a bit perplexed. I’ve always thought of Fresno as a city that loves to celebrate the season. Especially with Christmas light displays. Maybe we just need a good list of them.

We all know about local fixtures such as Christmas Tree Lane (the second and final walking night is tonight, FYI) and Huntington Blvd, but the last few years I’ve been out looking for other options too.

  • My favorite is the area some people call Cindy Lane (pictured above) off of Alluvial Ave., between Peach and Willow in Clovis. To me, and others will disagree, it blows Christmas Tree Lane out of the water. Here’s a blog post with pics from a past visit.
  • Last weekend, I discovered a house at 1150 E. Sierra Ave. (just east of First St.) that has an awesome synchronized light and music display. You tune your car radio to 95.1 FM and there’s a 10-minute set of music that the lights flicker along to. Here’s a video from a past year, you’ll have to disregard all the talking. I talked to the owner of the house for a column that will appear in Friday’s paper and he gave me a few other houses in town that set up similar displays:

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