Every year starting in early November, the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios are transformed into a fantasy of holiday lights, courtesy of the late Jennings Osborne, a businessman and humanitarian from Little Rock, Arkansas. The story goes that years ago Mr. Osborne wanted give his little girl the biggest Christmas display that anyone had ever seen, so he started decorating his Little Rock home with thousands of holiday lights. Over the years those decorations multiplied and not surprisingly, his neighbors weren’t very happy with all the visitors who crowded the streets where the Osborne family lived to see the now-famous decorations. A group of them filed suit to stop the display and Mr. Osborne, known as a bit of a prankster, responded by adding three million more lights! The case went all the way to the Supreme Court with the city prevailing. Meanwhile, the case gained nationwide attention and multiple companies offered to host the display. The rest is history, of course, with the Osbornes choosing the Walt Disney company, which has been using the original (plus some extra) holiday lights since 1995.
Jennings Osborne passed away earlier this year and he will be missed by many, but his family can take solace in how much happiness he’s given people, not just in Arkansas but from all over the world.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights takes place every night in Hollywood Studios during the holiday season, complete with accompanying Christmas music at intervals throughout the night. Crowds tend to thin out about an hour after that night’s lighting, so consider visiting later for a peaceful stroll through the lights.
Please enjoy these photographs from last weekend, courtesy of my friends Bob and Donna.