Britain’s most festive cul-de-sac burst into colour last night when the homeowners switched on their illuminations – with almost 100,000 blazing Christmas lights.
Six jolly families on Trinity Close in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, have forked out an estimated £3,000 each for 15,000 fairy lights covering each of their homes and gardens.
Sparkling santa clauses, reindeers and snowmen will also adorn the houses until the new year – making it one of the brightest streets in the country during the Christmas period.
Thousands of visitors flock from miles around to view the spectacular display, helping the residents raise thousands of pounds for charity every year.
The tradition was started 11 years ago by Nick Gardner, 42, and wife Hazel, 41, with neighbours Chris Woodberry, 63, and his late wife Christine, who died last year aged 61.
Mr Gardner, who has an nine-year-old son, said: ”It’s such a brilliant tradition and really cheers everyone in the street up.
”Everyone takes it as a bit of fun and it’s a lovely thing to see when you arrive home from work each day.
”It’s also a good community activity and a great way to get to know your neighbours.
”I’m always a bit sad when we finally switch the lights off – it would be great to have them on all year.”
Since the Christmas decoration tradition started the other households have joined in the festive fun and have added more and more lights – mostly in white and blue – to their collection.
Paula Payne, who lives next door to Mr and Mrs Gardner, has been taking part in the decorations since she moved to the area with her husband Graham, 70, four years ago.
The 66-year-old said: ”This year has to be our best ever display.
”We hope to see lots of people over the festive period and raise a good sum for charity.
”That’s the most important reason for it.”
Visitors are asked to make a donation in a number of collection boxes. Last year the display raised £6,300.
Donations go to Petals, a charitable trust set up in memory of Christine Woodbury, to benefit local cancer hospices and BARB, a registered charity that operates two life-saving rescue hovercrafts and an inshore rescue boat in the Bridgwater Bay area.
The lights are lit between the hours of 4pm and 10pm each day from 1 December to January 6.