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Welcome to the street that takes Christmas very seriously

Hugo Court in Narre Warren is an unlikely tourist destination, but every December people flock there in the thousands.

An hour away from the Melbourne CBD, it is an unassuming street in a nondescript suburb.

At least until night falls in December.

Then, the houses of Hugo Court are lit up in a dazzling and detailed display of Christmas spirit.

A mother and children look at Christmas lights in a suburban front yard.

It has been this way for nearly 10 years, at first with only a few houses.

But gradually more people got on board, and the displays grew more elaborate.

Jessica Stelling said newly arrived residents were quickly indoctrinated with a dose of festive cheer.

"You get told what happens at Christmas time," she said.

"But it's fun."

An inflatable snowman decoration in a suburban front yard.

Preparations for the display begin about two months in advance, and many of the decorations have to be brought out and packed up on a daily basis.

As for their collective power bills, resident Paul Charles says the festive event does not blow out the budget.

"Despite electrical prices going up, most of them are LED so they're not that expensive to run," he said.

"There could be a bit of competition between the guys, but it's mainly for the kids and the community."

A man photographs a house covered in Christmas lights on his smartphone.

It is not the best-known of Melbourne's Christmas light displays; that title is held by The Boulevard at Ivanhoe, in the eastern suburbs.

But every year traffic around Hugo Court is brought to a standstill as thousands of visitors come to see the show.

External Link: Hugo Court apologises to visitors after police shut down display

On a Sunday night in the middle of December, about 1,000 people came for the lights.

On Christmas Eve, it is more like 5,000.

The street is so popular that managing parking has become an issue.

And not everyone shares the Christmas spirit. Police shut down the display one night this week, prompting outrage on social media.

But police said the traffic in the area was unsafe, and the display was shut down for the night to clear the gridlock.

Visitors to Hugo Court have been advised to park a few blocks away to keep the street car-free.

An inflatable dinosaur is surrounded by Christmas lights.

Mr Charles said their display might be giving The Boulevard residents a run for their money.

"I think we are, we used to take our kids there," he said.

"It's a good community spirit here with all the people and all the kids."

A 'Santa stop here' sign in a front yard.

Original Article

The post Welcome to the street that takes Christmas very seriously appeared first on News Wire Now.

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