Christmas light displays bring joy across the South West

A Christmas delight: The McLaren Family - Dan, Annalise, 1, Nate, 3, Mel and golden retriever Lily out the front of their winning light display. Picture: Emily Sharp.
A Christmas delight: The McLaren Family - Dan, Annalise, 1, Nate, 3, Mel and golden retriever Lily out the front of their winning light display. Picture: Emily Sharp.

Two South West families have beaten many others across Western Australia to claim the title of some of the the best Christmas light displays in 2017.

The family at 8 Galloway Bend, Eaton, were thrilled to discover they had won the WA Synergy Xmas Light Trail competition for best light display synchronised to music. More than 60 hours of hanging, computing programming and late nights paid off, culminating in a light show of five songs including Can’t Stop the Feeling.

The mastermind behind the project Dan McLaren said he started decorating the family home last year to bring smiles to the faces of his two children Nate, 3, and Annalise, 1.

“When the little fella runs around the front yard happy, you can’t beat that,” he said. 

“I was pretty surprised, there was some really good lights on the website, so it wasn’t something that I thought I was going to win.

“We counted 15 kids on the front lawn last night dancing, which is good – that’s what it’s about.”

His wife Mel McLaren said it had been a wonderful way to bring Christmas spirit to their neighbourhood. 

“I was pleased for Dan, after all his hard work, it was well deserved,” she said. 

“There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realise when they drive past and look at the lights and hear the music.

“I think it just brings that real sense of community, with the people driving past – everyone’s calling out ‘Merry Christmas’ and you hear all the kids say ‘wow look at that’.”

Marie Vranjes from the popular 36 Honibrook Road Dalyellyup was named the People’s Choice winner for the South West.

Her elaborate Christmas lights display included Santa’s Sleigh, a train, an animated village and a teddy bear display.

Synergy’s marketing manager Kelley Yeats said the company was thrilled to see so many residents participate in the Christmas lights competition, while raising thousands of dollars for Lifeline WA and other local charities.

“We would like to congratulate Dan and Marie for their efforts,” she said.

Lifeline WA chef executive Lorna McGregor said she was grateful to Synergy for joining Lifeline WA again in 2017 for the Shine a Light for Life campaign.

“The festive season is Lifeline WA’s busiest time of the year,” Ms McGregor said.

“Lifeline WA’s Shine a Light for Life campaign aims to spread joy and hope throughout the community and encourage those in need to reach out for help.”

For 24/7 crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifelinewa.org.au.

To check out more Synergy Xmas Light Trail displays visit xmaslightstrail.synergy.net.au.