Facebook group dedicated to Christmas lights in Roanoke Valley gains thousands of members

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 1:24 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A single light can be a great guide when it’s dark, but a strand of lights can give a house character.

“You know we would pile in the car, week or two before Christmas every few nights, and just drive around and look for lights,” said Jason Parker, a Salem resident.

There’s no shortage of character at 2947 Creekwood Drive in Salem: from a llama to Frosty, the decorations are hard to miss, and that’s exactly how Parker, who even named his dog after the holiday, likes it.

“It is a big deal.”

A big enough deal that after joining a facebook page dedicated to Christmas lights in the area, he made this map - which shows exactly which houses have lights or decorations up. The group has existed less than a month and has almost 5000 members.

“I know there are at least 5000 people in the area, but I didn’t think there were so many that were joining,” said Parker.

From houses with music, to houses that serve popcorn, and yes, houses with inflatables, this group is connecting people in a time when connection is hard.

“And then Janet, who started the page herself, we had never heard of each other, didn’t meet until today actually,” said Parker, talking about a newfound friendship.

“2020 has been a hard year, we’re seeing a lot of holiday events canceled, community events, personal family events canceled, just seems there’s not a lot to look forward to, and I thought hey we need something to look forward to,” said Janet Chaney, the founder of the group.

Chaney never thought the group would take off like it has, but says it’s encouraging.

She personally decorates each year in memory of her grandma.

”We’ve just had a lot of stress and emotion this year, and this is bringing people a lot of joy, which is much needed,” said Chaney.

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