In search of Albany’s best lights

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Hayward Crest resident Colin Bairstow with his Christmas light display.
Camera IconHayward Crest resident Colin Bairstow with his Christmas light display. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Looking for Christmas lights is a magical childhood memory for many, and this year there are hundreds of homes in Albany decorated to keep the enchantment alive.

The Albany Advertiser has teamed up with the City of Albany to recognise the best of them in the 2019 Albany Christmas Lights Competition.

Residents are beginning to comb the city’s streets in search of the most impressive displays.

With inflatable Santas, sparkling reindeer and thousands of LED lights, some dedicated locals have gone all out to share the joy.

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On Hayward Crest in Yakamia, Colin Bairstow has put up his decorations for the 26th consecutive year.

His efforts may be hard to beat.

Each year, he installs his decorations on December 1.

This year, he had about 60 people in front of his house to watch the lights get switched on.

“It’s the start of the Christmas season and I want to try to get everybody into the Christmas spirit and having a bit of fun,” he said.

“On the first night I put a silly hat on and run around with bags of lollies and we all go nuts for five minutes playing music. It just started out with one string of lights and grew and grew until I got to present day with thousands of lights.

“Once you start, it does get a bit obsessive.” In a bid to change up Mr Bairstow’s display, you may see a few of Santa’s reindeer hanging upside down. “Everyone asks what I’m going to do different this year but there isn’t much you can do because your house is a certain shape,” he said.

“I was finding it hard to get motivated this year and then the kids were coming up after school saying ‘Hello Mr Bairstow, are your lights going up?’ and then the big kids ask too and then I have to make sure I do it.”

His display took three days to put up and is a strong contender for the crown.

“When you see the streets where everybody in the street does it, it is just a real buzz,” he said.

“It was a lovely evening last night. I could hear people chatting out the front.

“It brings everybody together.

“It is a talking point and before you know it you have made friends with someone down the road and it leads to building a good lifestyle.”


The winner of the 2019 Albany Christmas Lights Competition will receive a hamper worth $200 and an official winner’s certificate.

To enter, you must nominate your property before 9pm this Friday by contacting the Advertiser.

You can call us on 9892 8363, send us an email via news@albanyadvertiser.com or find us on Facebook.

Entries will be judged on originality, effort and appearance, with the winner announced in the Advertiser on December 19.

The 2019 Albany Christmas Lights Competition is presented in partnership with the City of Albany.

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