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Community-wide lights tour aims to spread Christmas cheer
christmas lights
As the community copes with the cancellation of its annual downtown Christmas parade, the City of Turlock has come up with yet another way for residents to spread holiday cheer despite these dismal times.

Homes, neighborhoods and businesses can share their Christmas spirit with passersby this winter by registering to be a part of the 1st Annual Turlock Holiday Lights Tour. City Council member Nicole Larson said that as she saw nearby communities promoting their own home decorating contest during Halloween, she thought the idea could be executed here in Turlock during the holidays and give the community something safe and fun to look forward to during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year has created unique challenges for us all and has caused us to sacrifice some of our favorite holiday traditions. However, we can think of this as an opportunity to create new traditions!” Larson said. “...Every year Turlock’s festively decorated homes seem to get better and better. This is a fun way to show off their best holiday spirit through a community-wide competition. And who wouldn't want bragging rights of ‘Best Decorated House’ in town?”

The concept is simple: participants register their holiday-decorated home, neighborhood or organization under the correct category at The tour will officially begin on Dec. 1, and the community will be able to access a map on the City’s webpage that will identify the participating locations.

The City is accepting 25 addresses per category and community members can register now through Nov.27. So far, 12 individual homes, one neighborhood block and one organization have registered. Addresses must be within Turlock city limits and between Dec. 14 and 16, judges will choose winners for three categories: Best Use of Lights, Best Use of Holiday Decor and Best Overall.

Winners will be announced Dec. 18 on the City of Turlock website and on social media.

This is the second no-cost, drive-through Christmas event the City has planned since it announced in early October that the annual Christmas parade would be cancelled for the first time in its 40-plus year history. In partnership with the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, the City is also hosting the Christmas Cruise: A Night of Lights on Display at the fairgrounds on Dec. 4.

Turlock Firefighters Local 2434 is sponsoring the Christmas Cruise and will be collecting canned goods and new toys for Turlock Together at the event. The City is encouraging community members to stop by the fairgrounds and then continue their evening with the Holiday Lights Tour.

“While I’m certain many of us are disappointed with not having out Christmas parade, I trust our community to always find additional and unique ways to celebrate Christmas,” Mayor Amy Bublak said.

For additional event details, follow the City of Turlock Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department page on Facebook and Instagram.