Spread holiday cheer at Lights in the Heights

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Explore stunning, charming, cozy and disarming lights, music and people-watching in the Woodland Heights at the 26th annual Lights in the Heights street celebration on Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 6pm to 9pm.

[quote_right]See Details for Lights in the Heights 2014[/quote_right]Now one of Houston’s most beloved and popular holiday gatherings, the free Lights in the Heights celebration began 26 years ago as a neighborly Christmas celebration with lights, music and cookies. Over the years it’s grown dramatically, with an estimated attendance of 50,000 visitors strolling through the Woodland Heights, enjoying Christmas lights and live musical performances on the front porches of select neighborhood homes.

The event has been scaled back this year and features a new route. This was done as part of an effort to ease the stresses on the neighborhood and deter the overly exuberant use of holiday libations. But Lights in the Heights still promises to offer a unique, warm and friendly taste of holiday cheer in the Greater Heights.

Many of the homeowners in the Woodland Heights have private parties of their own during Lights in the Heights, so please observe “Private Party” signs posted in yards. Although the streets are open to the public, the homes themselves are not.

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The official, closed off streets for the new Lights in the Heights route 2013.

The Lights in the Heights 2013 Route

This year, the official route has been shortened and will include Bayland and Woodland streets, running the four blocks between Watson and Florence streets. Streets to the north (Highland and Omar) and south (Euclid and Byrne) will be converted to one-way streets (Click here to see a map showing the flow of traffic on those streets). More than 40 police officers will be stationed at intersections surrounding this year’s Lights in the Heights route to help direct traffic and ensure an orderly event.

Parking at Lights in the Heights

Once you arrive at Lights in the Heights, you’ll be able to enjoy a mostly car-free zone on foot. However, parking and arriving can require some patience. Bayland and Woodland streets, as well as all cross streets between Watson and Florence, will be closed from 5pm to 9:00pm. Parking is not allowed on nearby streets and any vehicles that do manage to be there will be ticketed/ Although parking is allowed on nearby streets, spots go quickly. And the narrow streets mean that automobile traffic can only flow in one direction.

We recommend carpooling, dropping off any passengers who might have difficulty walking longer distances, and parking more remotely from the event itself and walking in. Better yet, park outside of the Heights and take a cab or ride your bike into the area.

Entertainment at Lights in the Heights

You’ll find 18 different musical groups performing holiday music on front porches and in front yards as part of the official Lights in the Heights entertainment. Of course, sometimes organized groups attending in costume may prove nearly as entertaining.

This year, you’ll find performances by The Johnny Sangree Band, Kate and the Yule Tones, Houston Dulcimers, Jensen Drive and the Spring Street Band (Earl Blair), Danny Ray, Houston Bronze Ensemble, The Humbuckers, Vacation Eyes, Houston Swing Dance, Bering Memorial United Methodist Church Bell Choir, Lucas Eason and the Panhandlers, Little Big Rock, C1 and Rory Jagdeo, Rice Philharmonics, Pam Walker, and Atomic Nightingales. Click here for a map of the front yards and porches hosting performances.

Lights in the Heights 2013

Photo credit: 365 Things to Do in Houston