Holiday lights became a tradition when Edward Johnson, a partner of Thomas Edison, invented his first string of Christmas lights. The Library of Congress illustrates that Edward Johnson hand-wired a Christmas tree with lights, and displayed it at his home in 1882. Some considered it a publicity stunt, but the practice took off in many stores and affluent homes. For a couple of thousand, (by today’s standards), a family could purchase a box of wires, circuits, colored light bulbs, and light bulb sockets, and then hire the equivalent of an electrician to have them wired and placed on the tree. Today, Christmas lights are mass produced and sold in just about every store.
Many small towns use Christmas lights to decorate their town squares and provide entertainment for residents and tourists alike. Glendale, Arizona has made this a custom every year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of their award winning Glendale Glitters event. Stroll through the Old Towne and Catlin Court area, and gaze upon over a million lights adorning trees and businesses as you listen to live music, savor delicious food, and shop in the unique array of stores and craft booths.
While you are there, take in some of the area’s historical architecture. Settled in 1892, the downtown Glendale area has several buildings on the historic register, which bring the charm of a bygone era to its visitors. Some of them can be experienced by shopping in the stores that are currently occupying them, or can be viewed by driving along the tree lined streets. Historic Downtown Glendale is located at 58th Avenue and Glendale.
Glendale Glitters casts its glow through December 21st. .