Saturday, December 11, 2021

Another Covid-time Christmas Brightened by Lighthearted Neighborhood Art

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Maurice Hewitt.

Find Peace & Dancing Unicorns on Marisa Lane in Encinitas/Olivenhain.

Last year around Christmas I wrote about light art around our Encinitas neighborhood, then discovered another great location while the lights were still up. So of course we went back there this year to check out the current attractions, along with a return visit to last year’s light-the-block parties, all of them welcoming passersby to share their holiday spirit.
Hot tips for cold nights: Dress warm, do a quick drive-through to see what’s happening, then find a parking spot and go out on foot. That way you can spend time with your favorites, especially the ones that change colors and moods. And wherever you live, ask neighbors about the best displays nearby.

11th Street, off Rancho Santa Fe Rd., Encinitas/Olivenhain.
This is the most widespread of local light shows, including offshoot streets like Marisa Lane, and it’s been going strong for years. The photos below were all taken on Marisa, but there’s elaborate illumination everywhere you look. 

Gitano Street, off Chapalita Drive, Encinitas.
Strings of colored lights link both sides of this neighborly street, 

What you see as you drive onto Gitano.  

Front-side detail.

One of our favorites.

Village Run East, off Gardendale Road, Encinitas.
There were many more houses lit up here last year, on Village Run’s east and west sides, but this is still one we love. I call it The House of Blue Lights, but it changes colors, and invites you to push a button to activate musical accompaniment—and maybe even do a little dancing.

A new star attraction on Gitano 

Here’s wishing us all a healthy, delightful holiday season…and many thanks to the homeowners who graciously light up our lives.

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has been writing about arts and lifestyle in San Diego County for over a dozen years. You can reach her at

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