The Brightside: Lewes Lights
LEWES, Del. – Making one beach town truly glow – that’s the mission of one holiday initiative, and it all started with just two people who wanted to bring light to the small beach town.
“Our goal is to make the first town, in the first state, out shine everything,” Debra Evalds, the co-chair and co-founder of Lewes Lights, said.
Lewes Lights is an initiative born during the pandemic to bring more light to people during a dark time.
“It turned into this huge community effort, where so many houses joined in, started lighting up, far surpassed our hopes of how people would decorate,” Debra said.
The idea is simple: encourage people in the resort town to decorate their homes for the holidays and then create a self-guided tour that people can walk through, or drive through, to see all of the lights, wreaths, trees, and decorations.
“It truly became a God-sent for people who were trapped in their houses to drive around,” Debra said.
Now in it’s second year, Debra says the event just continues to grow. Last year, just over 100 homes registered to deck the halls. This year, nearly double were on board.
“To our surprise, it’s bigger, it’s better, it’s brighter than it was in 2020,” Debra said.
They’ve even expanded their geographic area after hearing from other communities that wanted to get involved in the holiday cheer.
“We decided to expand to all homes East of Route One, and so we do have entries now outside of the city,” Debra explained.
And Debra says there’s another plus: bringing visitors into the town where they’ll boost local business.
“Now people can come into Lewes, and support your local merchants, and our restaurants, and all of the businesses here,” she said.
Whether you decide to walk through and see the lights, drive through, or just look at the pictures on social media, it’s always free. But Debra says they still wanted to find a way to give back for the greater good.
“We decided to have a philanthropic partner, and that partner is the Children’s Beach House,” she explained.
The Children’s Beach House is an organization that helps kids in Delaware year-round. So while the tour is free, Debra says if you enjoy the show, you’re encouraged to make a donation. But whether you have a few dollars to spare or not, she says Lewes Lights is just about bringing joy to this small beach town.
“One of our mottos is, ‘Let’s Glow Lewes,’ and we couldn’t be happier with how Lewes is glowing,” she said.
If you’re interested in seeing the homes, you can find a guided tour on their website. The homes will be decorated until at least the end of December.