Lights Switch On From
The Lights of Lobethal have been an intrinsic part of the community since the early 1950’s, when local business owners hand painted light bulbs with paint, thinned down with turpentine, to decorate their shops and businesses. In the true spirit of Christmas a tradition that has continued for over 60 years began, and has now evolved into the largest Community Christmas Light Display in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the early days it was simply a display by local businesses and home owners for the local community to enjoy, but as word spread visitors began travelling from other towns, and eventually Adelaide and beyond to see the spectacular displays.
In 2005 it was estimated that the Lights of Lobethal Festival attracted over 250,000 visitors from all parts of South Australia, Interstate and overseas. These visitors came to see over 700 homes and businesses lit up, at their own expense, to spread the true meaning and joy of Christmas.
It is not unusual to be told by visitors that as children their parents would bring them to see the “Lights” each year, and now they are bringing their own children. The Festival now has many spectacular light displays as well as Supporting Attractions such as; A Living Nativity (performing twice each night), a Christmas Pageant (December 23rd) and on opening night Carols in the Valley (7.00pm) is followed by the Opening Ceremony and a Fireworks Display (9.00pm).
The volume of visitors to the Lights Festival not only promotes South Australia by providing a traditional Christmas Spirit, but also generates an economic return for local businesses and stallholders. This economic benefit continues throughout the year as tourists return to visit local wineries, Markets and local businesses.