Around the holidays you see Christmas lights everywhere but what if you didn't have to go searching for them? What if you could just follow a map that has some of the best lighting displays in Eastern Iowa?

Something new involving Christmas lights is coming to Cedar Rapids and there are 5 high schoolers who are to thank for it.

Unsplash - Thalia Ruiz
Unsplash - Thalia Ruiz

A new Parade of Lights is coming to Cedar Rapids thanks to 5 Iowa BIG students. According to KCRG, this week people who live in the Wellington Heights area, Bever Park, and Oak Hill Jackson neighborhoods can submit their holiday displays to be part of the Parade of Lights.

Each house that is added will be placed on a map. When December 19th arrives, the public will have access to the map and they can go on their own Christmas lights tour. If you do take a tour, you are also asked to vote on your favorite display. The display with the most votes will win a $150 gift card. Voting for the best displays will run until January 1.

This entire idea came about when the students wanted to create something new and fun for the public to enjoy. Iowa BIG teacher, Mark Matson, told KCRG

They decided to kind of create something kind of like the parade of homes but instead of it just being like touring homes they decided let’s do it with Christmas lights.

The 5 students who have collaborated on this project all come from different schools in the Cedar Rapids area and they want these various communities to enjoy making memories this holiday season. Matson told KCRG,

We have a couple of students from Wash, we have a couple of students from Jefferson, and we have one from Prairie. It’s just really fun to watch kids from I guess you could say competing schools work together on a community project.

If you live in any of those communities, you decorate your house, and would like to enter the Parade of Lights, you can visit KCRG. The students have created a flyer with a QR code you'll need to scan with your phone.

How awesome is this? Growing up my family would drive around from neighborhood to neighborhood, looking for Christmas lights. Sometimes we'd drive for 15 minutes before we found a single house with their lights turned on. Now, all you'll have to do is follow a map at your own leisure, and you can see some of the best lighting displays in the Cedar Rapids area.

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