Lights Will Shine Over Interlochen

Long before there was a sparkling new Cowboys Stadium and Super Bowl coming to town, and around the same time the Texas Rangers arrived, there was another great tradition that helped put Arlington on the entertainment map. For many families, this is a tradition they look forward to as much as baseball fans do the World Series. It’s a tradition they always make time for. In fact, it could be said that generations of North Texas families are “season ticket holders” to this event.

It’s the Interlochen neighborhood Christmas lights – a 35-year holiday extravaganza that attracts thousands of families to cruise through Arlington every December, providing miles of smiles to kids of all ages. Because the decades old display of lights is so popular and such a part of the culture – and because it is free — it draws crowds from the entire region and visitors from around the world.

Due to a multi-million dollar deficit, the City of Arlington did not include funds in its budget this year to provide traffic control for the Christmas light pageantry.Interlochen Homeowners Association board president Ralph Sobel says while there was talk of discontinuing the rich tradition due to the lack of funding, the Christmas light show will go on this year. “The lights will shine brightly once again thanks to the generosity of a former Interlochen resident who couldn’t fathom Arlington letting go of such a happy event,” Sobel said. Allan Saxe has agreed to sponsor the Interlochen Christmas Lights in 2010. The UTA professor, political expert and commentator is well known for his contributions to numerous charities and arts organizations. Saxe couldn’t imagine the lights dimming for all the people who drive miles to see it each year.

“I well remember the sheer delight on the faces of all the children,” said the former resident of Westwood Drive, “and I didn’t think it was right that this tradition would come to an end after so many wonderful years, especially not now when Arlington is hosting the World Series and the Super Bowl.”

Arlington police officers will be directing traffic in the Interlochen neighborhood Dec. 17 – 19 and 22 – 23 from 7 to 10 PM and Dec. 24 – 25 from 7 to 11 PM.

Saxe made just two requests of the homeowners in one of Arlington’s most giving neighborhoods, according to Sobel. He asked that when they make their own charitable donations this year they keep in mind worthy local agencies like Mission Arlington, Partners Together for Health and the Humane Society of North Texas. And he said “as we light up the sky over Arlington, we remember the joy we bring to all those thousands of children and families that stream by during the Christmas lighting event.”