« Back to article: 37th Street's lights: An Austin holiday tradition ebbs and flows, but keeps its sparkle

Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_family
An Austin family gets into the spirit as they celebrate the holidays on 37th Street. Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_house crowd
Throngs of people visit the 37th Street Lights on a recent evening. The neighborhood's popularity stays strong every year, in spite of the ebb and flow of willing tenants - and the subsequent inconsistency of the lights display. A few dedicated participants, however, make all the difference and it remains a favorite Austin holiday tradition. Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_house couple
A romantic moment in front of one of the more colorful houses on 37th Street.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_dragon
Luke Tinius and Ben Leo fix the wings on the big dragon at the "Dude Compound," while the band Moneywell Spunt plays some classics on the front lawn beneath them. The house near the corner of 37th and Guadalupe ushers in the visitors with some giant foil sculptures that, in the words of one visitor who texted his review to CultureMap, "are the coolest on the block, fo sho." Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_crazy lights
A unique look at the Christmas lights on 37th Street. Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_monkey
Apple cider and a zen-like chillax vibe greeted visitors at one home on the corner of 35th and Home, which also featured a peaceful and beautifully lit courtyard.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
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"The baby Jesus has been turned into Baby Bling!" exclaimed one 12-year-old girl as she pointed joyously at the appropriately weird Austin-like interpretation of the manger scene - which shared the lawn with a giant inflated snowman and a Jungle Gym-style structure adorned with a bicycle and a disco ball. You really have to see it to understand it ...  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
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A bit of Thai luck adorns the fence on the corner of 35th and Home Street, just one of the dozens of festive details that can only be enjoyed if you get out of that car and stroll through the displays.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_thai kitties
A bit of Thai luck adorns the fence on the corner of 35th and Home Street, just one of the dozens of festive details that can only be enjoyed if you get out of that car and stroll through the displays.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_trolls
At Christmastime, it's all about the elves - unless you talk to these guys, a handful of trolls on 37th Street who have decided to speak out about inequality and discrimination against their under-the-bridge culture during the holiday season.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_trolls
At Christmastime, it's all about the elves - unless you talk to these guys, a handful of trolls on 37th Street who have decided to speak out about inequality and discrimination against their under-the-bridge culture during the holiday season.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_distance
Looking through the fence from the corner of 37th and Home, a brightly lit little corner of 35th Street continues the neighborhood tradition of holiday cheer. While 37th Street is the heart of the operation, the rest of the neighborhood gets into the spirit, too.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_michael vasquez
Michael Vasquez hangs out near the apple cider in the 37th Street neighborhood, partying with his friends as visitors come and go. He's lived in the neighborhood for five years and wishes that 37th Street, in particular, weren't so heavily rental - only because actual owners would be more committed to the lights display each year. As it is, renters sometimes participate and sometimes don't. "I remember coming to it on the first Christmas they did it and I was really amazed at how it was set up."  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III
Austin Photo Set: News_Karen Brooks_37th street_holiday_dec 2011_merry christmas
This would make a nice Christmas card. Friends pose for the camera in front of a lights display on 37th Street.  Photo by Charlie L. Harper III