William Flick, Luke McMalion (front), Brigette McMahon and Paul McMahon (back) check out the fabulous light displays.
William Flick, Luke McMalion (front), Brigette McMahon and Paul McMahon (back) check out the fabulous light displays. Bundaberg News-Mail

Neighbours light up festive spirit

IF there was ever a place the Grinch wouldn't dare mess with, it's Bundaberg's Thomas Healy Dr.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in the Bundaberg East street where residents spend hundreds of hours each year decorating their homes in the most spectacular Christmas fashion imaginable, bringing joy to the masses of people who visit nightly to take in the display.

Kerry Coleman and his family moved to the street two years ago and this year he spent an entire week setting up his Christmas decorations.

"I work night shift and last year it took me 12 minutes just to get out of the driveway there were so many people here," Mr Coleman said.

"The atmosphere on a Saturday night is great."

A father of three and grandfather of two, Mr Coleman said the decorations were a big hit with the kids.

"They love it," he said.

"I think there's probably only two houses in the street that don't do it."

Sue Lovejoy and her family moved into Thomas Healy Dr just two weeks ago and they've already caught the Christmas spirit bug, decorating their new house with dazzling lights.

"My sister in law lives around the corner so I was quite aware of what we were getting into," she said.

"I did it at my old house with the lady across the road but it was nothing like this."

Hurley Crt, which adjoins Thomas Healy Dr, is not immune to the Christmas craziness with many houses in the street also joining in the fun.

Allan Gray has lived in Hurley Crt for three years and said he could hardly count the number of lights he used in his display.

"When I came, I told them I wasn't doing it but it's a bit hard not to get involved," he said.

"It's very enjoyable."

Mr Gray said much of his display was made up of solar lights which made setting up much easier.

"But I lost three big lights last year because of the rain so fingers crossed they don't get ruined by the rain this year," he said.

"I don't even want to count how many lights I've got all up."

Mr Gray said there was a great sense of community in the neighbourhood.

"Everyone gets on really well and helps each other out," he said.

"It's a good street."

Thomas Healey Dr resident Craig Holden said the tradition started many years ago at the east end of the road.

"It just gradually spread from there," he said.

"Now it's at the stage that there's a bit of a shame factor if you're not involved - you feel the peer pressure.

"It's all good fun though."

PRD real estate agent Vicki Hodges has sold many homes in the area over the years and said she had never met a Grinch when breaking the news of the street's Christmas craze.

"Even those that weren't overly Christmas influenced before seem to take up the challenge," she said.

"It never ceases to amaze me that a whole street can be so in sync."

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