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Night Lights

Where to find the brightest front yards in Roseville
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
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Falling gas prices come just in time for devotees of that perennial seasonal tradition: Christmas-light hunting. And with a bit more than a week before Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to fire up the sleigh and stop-and-go your way through the area’s best hot-spots for blazing holiday displays. This year, expect to see the usual menagerie of grazing deer and cartoon-character inflatables, as well as more light displays synchronized to music, say those who trade in Christmas decor. Amid the economic turmoil, however, anecdotal evidence suggests some residents are cutting back on some of the over-the-top shows of years past. “This year, they’re filling in where they already have stuff,” said Tara Beaton, chief designer for For All Seasons Outdoor Décor in Granite Bay. Decking the halls is big business, with sales of Christmas lights and decorations racking up $9.3 billion last year, according to Unity Marketing, a market research firm. But this year, consumers are a little hesitant to spend the big bucks on cramming the lawn with rope-light snowmen and standing bucks. “They’re not doing that whole disposable income thing,” said Beaton. Still, some innovations are hard to pass up. The uptick in Vegas-style light shows is thanks to products such as Mr. Christmas, a plug-and-play system that automatically flashes different light sets in tune to 20 Christmas songs. “What it’ll do is if you have icicles on the rim of your house, and lights on the windows, it’ll make each one flash on a different time,” Beaton said. And the classics? “Nativity scenes,” she said. “It’s not a hot new item, but it’s a tradition and you have a lot of traditionalists out there still.” So fire up Google Maps: Here’s our pick of the local light brigades. But it’s hardly complete – go to www.rose-villept.com to comment on this story and leave your own list of holiday houses that shine. - 1620 Alnwick Drive, Roseville Homeowner Michael Platt choreographed his lights by hand to several Christmas classics; visitors can park and tune into 107.7 FM using their car radios. If you like the show, Platt asks that you donate a buck or two to Roseville HomeStart. A donation box is on-site. - 100 Silverado Circle, Roseville A classy Santa on the doorstep holds court over this winter wonderland, which features lots of prefab Christmas characters, lights on nearly every possible surface and holiday music. - Red Oak Court and Twinwood Loop, Roseville This neighborhood has it all – synchronized lights, whimsical woodcuts and sheer masses of lights. Don’t miss the homemade cartoon characters at the end of Red Oak, an area tradition for eight years now. - 2204 Thurton Drive, Roseville Lights synchronized to music are the draw here, with music piped out of a small speaker. Two light-trees, candy canes and layers of house lights blink fast as lightning to the sounds of songs like the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter.” - Striker Court and Mineral Springs Drive, Roseville This neighborhood off Baseline Road (aka Candycane Lane) is an annual must-see, with several homeowners going all-out. Don’t miss the Santa and reindeer display, working train set and woodcuts of cartoon characters. Sometimes the residents even hand out candy canes. - 78 Marilyn and 79 Columbia avenues, Roseville These homes back up against each other off Folsom Road. The Marilyn residence, featured in The Press-Tribune last year, adds four cut Christmas trees lining the yard as well as a gingerbread theme; the house on Columbia is also jam-packed with classy Christmas decor. - 709 Rowley Court, Roseville This lightscape has been featured on HGTV for its sheer size – 100,000 lights, owners say. The display also includes a 25-foot arrow pointing to the chimney, inflatables, lighted trees and more. - 607 Falcon Way, Roseville More than 25,000 lights swarming the roof, lawn and trees make this home off Rocky Ridge a highlight. - Pebble Creek Drive and Strand Road, Rocklin No local light roundup is complete without a mention of this Rocklin powerhouse. It’s worth the drive, with more than 300 handcrafted woodcuts of cartoon characters. Just remember to dim the lights, have a little patience and watch out for pedestrians.