Bows, bells and hot cocoa signal the ushering in of the Christmas holiday, and with it the twinkling of festive light displays all across Iron County.
As finals approach for college students and COVID-19 presents challenges for safely celebrating the holiday season, a tour of the local light displays could serve as a much needed study break or a safe and socially distanced holiday activity.
Thanks to the Visit Cedar City website’s 2020 Holiday Map, finding the perfect light displays around Cedar City, Enoch and Parowan is simple. There are plenty of lights and interactive activities to choose from for a short breather or lengthy light experience.
Cedar City Downtown — By Foot or Four Wheels
Cedar City’s Main and Center streets have held fast to tradition by bringing back the annual downtown Christmas light features.
Historic Downtown, starting at 200 North to Center Street, is a captivating wonderland of white and gold lights. Trees line each side of the block, standing at attention in their coats of glowing LEDs while the snowflake and ribbon designs glow overhead, spanning the entire street.
As magical as it can be to drive beneath the swaying lights, a stroll along the sidewalk pressed close to the nostalgic storefronts is nothing to be overlooked.
Just north of the downtown display is Main Street Park with rainbow-colored trees and bright archways lighting the open field. The park display can be easily viewed from the roadway or sidewalk as an addition to your downtown tour.
To draw the excursion out a little more, start at Southern Utah University’s Beverley Center for the Arts for a variety of colorful lights. While some displays may be seen from the roadway, visitors are welcome to explore the ground’s pathways and sculpture gardens.
The additional stop is a mere block from the downtown light display and situated close to several eateries along Center Street.
Christmas Lane — Interactive Story Drive
Homes in a neighborhood loop nestled beneath the red hills east of Cedar City are dedicated to telling a Christmas tale every year.
Residents of the Hillside, Ridgeway and Parkside drives north of the Cedar Ridge Golf Course take neighborhood decorating seriously by not only adding lights to their homes and yards, but by incorporating a segment of a traditional Christmas story as well.
Segments of Clement Moore’s classic poem “A Visit From Santa,” better known as “The Night Before Christmas,” lead visitors on
a winter wonderland journey around the loop. Signs guide the way as the tale unfolds amidst the festive light displays of each house.
Christmas Lane began allowing visitors on Nov. 27 and vehicles will be welcome every night until New Year’s Eve. The loop may be accessed at 400 E. 1250 N. behind Cedar City Motor Co.
Make-A-Wish House — Christmas with a Cause
For 13 years, Ben Hohman and Marielle Boneau have been transforming their home into a bright and fun-filled display open to the public free of charge and ask only for donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Hohman and Boneau hold nothing back when creating their winter wonderland. Every year’s display is unique featuring bright lights, blow ups and even archways that make stepping into their backyard feel like walking through an animated Christmas movie.
Find the festive home at 26 N. 1150 W. Cars are welcome to drive by and take in the lights at the front of the house or stop for a stroll through the magic of the backyard.
Donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation can be made on site or at Hohman and Boneau’s website. In the last 15 years the duo have been able to donate $20,000 to the foundation and hope to keep the tradition alive.
Musical Magic — Iron County Homes with Dance-Worthy Displays
Frank and Mary Davis, Nathan Miller, and Neil Mattson all offer magical displays in tune to holiday music across Iron County.
Frank and Mary Davis of Parowan offer a sensory delight by synchronizing their light displays with the Christmas tunes of 96.9 FM. Find their home at 264 S. 500 W. in Parowan and don’t forget to tune into the radio station for the full effect of the dancing lights.
Miller’s home at 3631 N. 250 E. in Enoch displays a variety of colorful lights synchronized with the beat of Christmas classics on 89.9 FM. Miller also offers his home as a Toys for Tots drop off location and any donations may be dropped off until Dec. 22.
Mattson is a Cedar City resident who takes holiday decorating seriously. With a 25,000 light display dancing in rhythm with the holiday music of 95.9 FM, Mattson’s home is a crowd pleaser. Find his light display near Hawthorn and Fiddler’s canyons at 2149 N. Hawthorne Lane.
Frontier Homestead State Park–Well Worth the Walk
The Frontier Homestead State Park brings Christmas and history together by making magical displays all around the museum grounds.
The museum honors the pioneer and industrial history of southwestern Utah with a variety of indoor displays as well as an entire outdoor area with real-life historical items all around.
From Dec. 11-24, the museum will welcome visitors to explore the brightly decorated grounds and enjoy the magic of history and Christmas coming together. Admission to the light displays will be free, but donations are encouraged.
Find the museum at 635 N. Main St. Free parking is available and dressing warm to walk around the grounds is encouraged.
Winter Wonderland — Parowan’s Perfect Christmas Photo Op.
Parowan’s Main Street is transformed nightly into a winter wonderland thanks to the Parowan Chamber of Commerce.
Complete with bright lights and seasonal displays, the Main Street attraction boasts a festive holiday. Visitors are welcome to drive by or wander the sidewalks and pathways to take in the magic and snap the perfect picture.
Lights are turned on every night at dark until 10 p.m. and can be found at 16 S. Main St. Free hot chocolate and cider are offered every Saturday until Jan. 3 while supplies last.
Cowan’s Vintage Christmas–Classic Christmas Tradition
For years, Randy and Collete Cowen’s Christmas displays have been considered a Cedar City tradition.
The Cowen’s vintage holiday display is complete with lights, a nativity and Santa with his reindeer. Whether the stop is already a part of your Christmas traditions or not, the Cowan’s house can help usher in the season.
Find their vintage display at 686 W. 200 N.
Leigh Hill Loop — House to House Hunt for Bright Lights
The magic of holiday lights can sometimes come from finding them. If an old-fashioned drive around town to look for lights is more your style, be sure not to miss the homes of Leigh Hill.
Make the loop starting at Ridge Road to 700 West, then to Cove Drive and finish the loop on 200 North. Many of the homes along this loop are decked out with LED, flashing and colored light displays.
The loop will also take you past the Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ temple complete with light displays and nativity scenes of their own.
Take the side street around and within the loop to discover any number of holiday decorations. No matter your style or preference, you’re sure to find a number of bright displays to help you welcome the holiday season.
Story by: Mikyla Bagley
Photos by: Mikyla Bagley