As illuminated houses line the streets around East County, here's the some more information on a few of the most impressive displays:
515 Hunter Lane, Bradenton (Greenfield Plantation)
This home in Greenfield Plantation offers a magical animal-centric scene featuring a flamingo, polar bears and geese among other holiday decor.
9220 65th Ave. E., Bradenton (Braden Woods)
The scene in front of Mike Wilder’s Braden Woods home is a tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It’s got everything from the booth where Lucy collected a nickel from Charlie Brown for her psychiatry services, to cutouts of Charlie Brown and other characters. It also includes a manger scene, Bible verses, reindeer and a Santa display created by Wilder’s father, Cal Wilder, 86. Cal Wilder started and display and Mike Wilder assumed its setup in 2015. In 2014 Mike added snowmen made by his brother, Steven Wilder, who moved out of state. A star to the left of the driveway came from a Lakewood Ranch High School dance because Mike Wilder served as the school’s assistant principal when it opened in 1998 and took over as principal in 2002 — a position he served until 2009. “Everything was originally about Charlie Brown Christmas," he said. "We play the movie every night on the porch.”
10912 8th Ave. E., Bradenton (Gates Creek)
A nativity sits front and center at this tastefully decorated Gates Creek home.
6443 and 6447 Golden Leaf Court, Lakewood Ranch (Summerfield)
Neighbors Ty and Stephanie Gremaux and Jack and Deborah Skelly are good-natured about their neighborly holiday light competition. Although many parts of their Christmas light displays look coordinated, in reality, they are not. But the couples do spend plenty of time outside chatting as they stage their homes. This year, they both lined the top of the roof with colored lights and also hung white icicle lights along the lower roofline. “We like the continuity of it,” Ty Gremaux admits. “It’s going to be tied together.” Each year, the couples come back after post-Christmas discount sales with bags of more decorations to out-decorate each other.
6326 Yellowtop Dr., Lakewood Ranch (Greenbrook)
Ray Papiano said decorating his yard in Greenbrook puts him in the Christmas spirit. He likes the comments he receives from people walking past and the excitement of the children who visit. He said that makes the work worthwhile. Ray's favorite piece is Santa's sleigh led by pink flamingos, which according to him, adds some Florida style.
1008 110th St. E., Bradenton (Gates Creek)
If you find your way to this home in the Gates Creek neighborhood, you'll not only be treated to a fantastic holiday light display, but also one that is accompanied to softly-playing Christmas music.
7155 Spikerush Ct. Lakewood Ranch (Riverwalk Grove)
Peggy Turner is not a Grinch, but that is the theme of her holiday presentation.