Boise Christmas Lights
Treasure Valley's Christmas Light Authority
Boise Christmas Lights is your one-stop shop for anything Christmas related in the Boise and Treasure Valley area! Are you looking for the best Christmas Lights in Boise? Are you looking for a Boise Christmas Events Calendar? We've got it all here!
Our Boise Christmas Lights Map shows the very best Christmas Light Displays and Christmas Light Shows in the Boise/Treasure Valley area! It's what made us famous - it's been featured on multiple radio stations, TV stations, and the Idaho Statesman.
Our Boise Christmas Lights Facebook page is where we post updates, and share photos, live videos, and events. You can find it here: Facebook.com/BoiseChristmasLights
We're also on Instagram! @BoiseChristmasLights
Also, check us out on Twitter: @BoiseXmasLights
You can always send us an email: BoiseChristmasLights@gmail.com
We also have a special Facebook group for those who own and operate their own Christmas Light displays. This group is also for anyone who is more interested in the inner workings of Christmas Light displays! We can plan group buys, talk shop, and participate in meetups. Join our Facebook group: Behind the Lights - Boise
At the request of our Facebook community, we've also started developing Boise Christmas Lights Driving Routes. These are preset driving routes for those who want to take a tour of the best Christmas Lights that Boise has to offer! PLEASE NOTE: These Driving Routes are for PERSONAL use only. They are not authorized for commercial use, such as limo and party bus companies, or anyone who will charge an admission fee to take people on our light tour routes. We are okay with Assisted Living facilities using these routes as they do not charge participants an admission fee for their tours.
This project was created in 2015 by William Higginson, a self-proclaimed Christmas light junkie from Eagle. In 2020, the project changed hands to Luthy Shannon, famous for her family's light show in Meridian.
The History of Boise Christmas Lights
How it all got started.
My name is William, and I'd like to welcome you to the Boise Christmas Lights project. It's my hope this website will serve as a one-stop-shop for everything Christmas related in Idaho. The Gem State is one of the fastest-growing states in the country - more people are moving to our state now than ever before!
I've always been a fan of Christmas for as long as I've lived, but this love of everything jolly really came to a head in 2015. I had some good family friends coming to visit the Treasure Valley, and I wanted to take some time to see some amazing Christmas light displays with them. I found it was a little difficult to find the best Christmas light displays, even by a simple Google search. Search results would show many different websites, forums, and blog posts - some of which were old and had outdated listings.
I decided to compile all this information into one, easy-to-use Google map. I initially just shared it with friends on Facebook, but then I decided to share it to the Boise subreddit, r/Boise. (PS: yeah, the cat's out of the bag, everyone knows my Reddit username now, big whoop... tl;dr I'm a Live PD junkie, I'm a Latter-day Saint, and like to be involved in my community, there ya go.)
I noticed that several dozen people had viewed the link in just a few hours a few Redditors commented their thanks and gave me a few addresses to add, which was fantastic! I appreciated any and all input I could get.
Little did I know how quickly this would explode, literally, overnight.
The next morning, I was sitting in class at Boise State, and decided to check Facebook (hey, don't pretend you didn't do that too). A friend of mine had shared a blog post from a local radio station, titled "Treasure Valley Christmas Light Map". And I thought, oh that's funny, I just created one of those! Let's see what they have.
Well, turns out they had linked the map I had created! Multiple redditors from r/Boise had shared the link on Facebook, and it worked its way up to some of the DJ's at KISS FM via social media. Eventually the other Townsquare media stations picked up the map and put it on their websites and social media too!
That's when the map started getting thousands of views each day. And that's when I knew that the entire Treasure Valley was counting on little old me to show them where the best Christmas light displays in Boise were. I created a Facebook page for this project.
The map continued to be featured yearly on local radio stations and eventually on all four major TV stations.
But up until that point, I was pretty unknown to the people using the map. I honestly didn't mind because I didn't want to be the center of attention. However, Michael Sevren at KIVI 6 On Your Side/FOX 9 news contacted me for my first in-person interview, and I gladly obliged. My map and story were featured in both 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, I was contacted by Frankie Barnhill from Boise State Public Radio to do an interview. Frankie did a fantastic job with her story for BSPR. It's a great article that summarizes the origins of this light map, and how I get things started and maintain it every year. I encourage you to read the article here: http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/your-2017-map-brightest-christmas-lights-around-treasure-valley#stream/0
Also in 2017, Nicole Blanchard from the Idaho Statesman reached out to me for an interview. This is something I didn't expect, because the Idaho Statesman had always published their own Christmas Light listings, and it was well-known in the Treasure Valley. Many folks had been patiently waiting for the Idaho Statesman to publish their yearly light map directory, but it looks like for the first time, the Idaho Statesman was looking to use my map on their website instead. I was completely honored.
Side note: I have to apologize for delaying Nicole's interview because I was just about to head to the Las Vegas Bowl to watch my beloved Boise State Broncos beat the crap out of the Oregon Ducks... and to stuff my face at the Aria buffet, White Castle, and Raising Canes.
Once I returned from Vegas, Nicole interviewed me and wrote an amazing article that summarizes this whole origin story, and how I actually work on getting the light map up and running. I encourage you to read it here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/article190968779.html
After the Idaho Statesman article, the map started gaining a whole new level of traction. The map had thousands of views every single day! It goes to show how many people were still looking to the Statesman for a list of Christmas light displays. Our Facebook page hit 1000 likes on Christmas Day, and I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
My sister, Gracie, helped inspire me to start an Instagram account: @BoiseChristmasLights. I also started a Twitter account: @BoiseXmasLights. The Facebook page still has the most content and interaction, but our IG and Twitter accounts just make us a couple steps closer to world domination. Or something like that.
One of the cool parts of the 2017 season was coming across a fellow Christmas light lover/social media guy. Jason runs the Pacific Northwest Christmas Lights Facebook page and had been publishing lists and tagging the Boise Christmas Lights page in some posts. We gave each others pages shout outs and we've since been able to bounce ideas off each other.
Through Jason and the PacNW page, I was able to find out about and attend the Pacific NW Christmas Light Addiction Problem meetup in April 2018.
In 2018, we started highlighting Halloween Displays after I saw a post on a Facebook group I'm part of:
And it turns out several of our local light show creators/decorators decked out their homes for Halloween as well! So I brought the BCL map out of its hibernation early for a special Halloween season of listings.
Christmas Season 2018 was wildly successful for us! We hit the 1,500 and 2,000 likes mark on our Facebook page, which were both fantastic milestones. Our blog got thousands of clicks. Our Facebook Live videos were a fan favorite - some went viral and had thousands of views! I splurged and bought a Galaxy S9 on Black Friday just so I could get better pictures of Christmas Lights. It was just an awesome season!
2019's season was even more popular, and we hit many milestones with Facebook likes, map views, and website views. Our Instagram page in particular gained some traction with some shout-outs from some popular local IG accounts. It definitely showed that there is a solid, dedicated Instagram audience that does not use Facebook, so those shout-outs were very beneficial for us. Up until that point, our Instagram following was mostly from people who also liked us on Facebook. We gained a lot of Instagram-only users who did not use Facebook and had never heard of us before.
2020 was... well, it was 2020 LOL. It brought a lot of change to the world, and a lot of change to the Boise Christmas Lights Project. We all know the story by now - people were panicking, stressed, and scared of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. In late March, articles were posted about how some people across the globe were putting their Christmas lights back up to bring some light in some otherwise dark times. We had a few light shows in Meridian put their lights back up and go live, and the residents of Harrison Blvd brought back out some of their holiday decorations for people to drive by and see. Lite 107.9 and 101.5 Kool FM brought back Christmas music to the radio during the Coronavirus pandemic. It was a very nice gesture from our local community.
In preparation for the 2020 Halloween season, we launched a brand new website from the ground up. We decided to retire the old Blogger platform on the 208 Christmas domain, and retire the 208 Christmas branding, since other people across the state were able to step up and map displays in Twin Falls and East Idaho. We're very thankful for their hard work for our fellow Idaho residents, because we knew that would be tough to do for an entire state.
Also in October of 2020, the creator of the BCL project, William, announced that he will be stepping down as the main admin of the page due to taking a new job in San Antonio, Texas. But the map and project would not be abandoned - he was able to recruit Luthy Shannon, a well-known former light show creator in Meridian, to take over the BCL map, website, and social media accounts. William will be taking a little break from the Christmas light chaos to focus on his family and new job, but plans on starting up a new project - San Antonio Christmas Lights - in the future.