Portland, Oregon is known for its eccentricities… and I mean that as a compliment. One such eccentricity is the annual Christmas light celebration at Peacock Lane—a quaint residential street known as “Christmas Street.” Each December, this street lights up with the biggest light celebration in the southeast… aided by free electricity for the month of December for Peacock Lane Residents.
Since the twenties, these homes (primarily Tudors, with a smattering of bungalows, Portland-esque homes, and cottages) have lit up the city and delighted millions of onlookers. This year will surely not disappoint.
My wife and the kiddos love Peacock Lane and make it an annual tradition. In fact, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we make this trek to the southeast for a celebration. This year, after school, we bundled up and made the fun drive through downtown Portland and arrived at Peacock Lane.
Peacock Lane can be viewed via traditional car driving, strolling along the sidewalk, or even horse drawn carriage (except on Dec 15th and 16th, which is pedestrian only) but my family and I always prefer to walk. Walking helps us not only feel like a part of the community, but also enables us to see the lights better. As we begin our journey, my daughter is instantly drawn to the wooden Grinch display. But she’s not scared. She loves the Grinch and says he only needs a little love to be a nice guy. This is followed by Charlie Brown and his friends “ice skating” on blue lights.
We walk to the next house and are greeted by the sound of excited children, by carols, and by the clop clop of horses. We pause and admire their majesty.
More houses. Frosty the snowman, nativity scenes, Santa Claus on rooftops guided by Rudolph and company, penguins, polar bears…you name it, it’s here. Large peeked roofs are made even larger with the addition of blue, green, white, and red lights. And, just in time, we approach the hot drinks booth. Cider for my wife, coffee for me and piping hot cocoa for the kiddos. The childhood sound of slurps now accompanies everything else. This is truly the way to bring in the holidays. This is why Peacock Lane has been a family tradition for years.
This sense of community, creativity, love, joy, and peace is palpable, and Peacock Lane during the holiday season is a mere microcosm of the city at large.
Peacock Lane reminds me every year of just how much I love my city. Portland, Oregon: Thank you for all you have to offer!