Sunday was the last night I had left to check out displays before the evening of the Christmas Lights bus tour. It was an over ambitious packed schedule yet again, with dread knowing that I probably won’t get to see everything I’d like to see but still feel comfortable enough to draw up the bus journey.
Sunday’s escapades were mainly focused around the South and North-Western Parts of Brisbane. In the usual three hours, I managed to cram in over 14 displays ranging from South Ipswich up to Upper Keppera plus 2 classified neighbourhoods.
In 2016, I found the Western suburbs to have some of the strongest displays in Brisbane, so my bar was set high when checking out these displays. Unfortunately, there were a number of houses which took out some of my top honors last year that did participate in the 4KQ competition this year which was a bit depressing, but considering the amount of work and creativity they put in, a year off was obviously needed!
House at WTF Deebing Heights
This year two displays rated as third best for me, the first including a new entry I haven’t checked out before, 39 Rawlings Rd in Deebing Heights. I know what you’re thinking- where the F is Deebing Heights? Well it’s about 20 mins past Springfield Central off the Centenary Motorway. Some of the detail in this display was incredible, incorporating and working with the stunning architecture of the property by beautifully and carefully the lining rooves and front walls with strings of coloured LEDs. The display incorporated some great hands on experiences for the kids with interactive Christmas nativity set ups including push button activations to make figurines dance and even a smoke machine for the chimney! There was also an incredible Christmas diorama and train set up with a find every element poem, which you could easily spend an hour on. Overall the use of colour was spot on and combined with the decorations gave a classy feeling to the peroperty. There is lots to do here, you wouldn’t be disappointed visiting this one.
House at WTF Deebing Heights
Tied with Deebing Heights was 5 Tindle Street in Redbank Plains. It’s interesting because from a creative, execution and technical perspective this place scored rather averagely but from an overall atmosphere and community engagement perspective, this place went through the roof! At this display, there was a sausage sizzle, a charity donation box for Beyond Blue, a Santa Sled photo opportunity, Christmas display windows and even a done up festive Ute covered in LED lights, a tall Christmas tree and a blasting audio system. Definitely unique. What let this display down was the lack of attention to detail in the overall display set up. They ignored the architecture of the space and garden and relied upon haphazardly placing tacking light up decals with no real colour cohesion. We know who the real winner was here, the Reject Shop! If you’re after a place with an awesome atmosphere with plenty of festive spirit, this is the place, but if you’re on the hunt for a great lighting display, this place wouldn’t be at the top of my list.
Coming in at second place was the winning of the best 4KQ Syncronised light show display at 4 Burwick Place, Middle Park. Upon checking out this display last year, I certainly saw its potential and it seems this year they have taken it to the next level. Cued well, great music choices and now even due to building popularity closing off the cul-de-sac street, providing a great opportunity for the visitors and local residents to set up chairs and enjoy a night of lights. The family of the display were lovely, with their young girls handing out Candy Canes to everyone and encouraging us to donate to their selected charity, the Starlight foundation. Although I liked the display, something felt wrong. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it may have even been due to the overall architecture of the house and property creating too many layers of depth making a uneven/not so interesting overall design set up. I still feel there are just as good if not slightly better syncronised displays out there including a Southside favourite of mine 2 Clayton Crt Crestmead and Sugarloaf Street Wavell Heights. Still, worth a checking out if you’re in the area.
Coming in at First for the West was the Hawk Place Sinnamon Park Neighbourhood. I found this a much stronger neighbourhood entry then the 4KQ winning entry at Melrose in Carindale and the runners up neighbourhood in Westlake as it was a street whereby all 20 houses have participated in one form or another. It just shows this street must have an incredible community spirit, which I don’t see very often these days. There were some notable display entries on this street alone which included some beautifully textured rooves and gardens. It was great to see everyone considering the strengths and defining features of the architecture of their house or garden in some way. I even found a colour cohesiveness between all the displays on the street. It was absolutely incredible and is definitely worth parking the car and taking a walk up and down this street.
Overall, I found the West this year a little disappointing in comparison to previous years, but my hopes for 2018 that there will be more new incredible displays, plus some old great entries returning to give their all and show the rest of Brisbane how it is done once again.