On Hamilton Street heading toward downtown Allentown, admire the PPL building and then turn right on 17th Street and right again at Fairview to see the old favorite at Fairview and St. Cloud. Turn right and then left on Union. There's a nice little display on your right at 2223 W. Union.
Stay on Union and turn right on Ott Street. Take that all the way to Tilghman, where you'll see a cool tree at the corner. Turn right and enjoy the other displays before making a left on N. 23rd to see 716 on your left. Continue to Congress, turn right and you'll get another treat at 2234 W. Congress.
Get back to 26th Street, turn right and take Whitehall Avenue under Route 22. The display on your right at 1245 Whitehall is a perennial favorite. Turn left on Columbia, right on Main to see 1544 at the corner of Main and Russell. Turn right, then right again at Broad as you take in 2730 Russell on the corner. You'll see nice lights all along Broad.
Turn left when you hit Columbia again, then left on Ott, right on Walbert. Turn left at the Whitehall Avenue light, then right on Huckleberry to see a nice row of houses between 20th and 21st streets. Then turn around, make a right on Whitehall and look left for a nice display at 1972 Maria as you head toward Focht, where you'll turn left. Make a right on Greenawalds Avenue to see the fine display at 2040 and its neighbors. Continue on Greenawalds to Pirma, turn right and go down the hill to the intersection with Mauch Chunk. Turn left. Go past Gallagher, turn right on Linden, right on Elmhurst to see 1727, which gets bigger every year.
Back on Mauch Chunk north, turn right on Schadt, and when you hit MacArthur/145, turn left. Make a right at Lehigh, and at the first light, turn left onto Front, then watch for nice displays all along here. When the road splits in Coplay, bear left onto S. Third. After that turns into N. Third, look to your left for 42, just past the American Club. It has a lot packed into a small space, and you need to take time to see the back yard.
Go left on Chestnut, right on Eighth and continue straight through several street name changes until you hit Columbia. Bear left and return to 145, where you'll head north and turn right at Route 329.
When you hit Main Street, Northampton, turn right and enjoy the beautiful lights, including the borough's Christmas tree. Look to your right for a terrific display at 530 Main on your right, then make a left on Fourth. Take that to Howertown, turn left, then left on Ninth for many nice homes, particularly 264 E. Ninth on your left.
Turn around and return to Howertown, where you'll cross to the other side of Ninth to see that whole block. Turn around again and come back to Howertown, turn right and gird your loins for the incredible 612 E. 10th. We always park on the cross street and walk up to make sure we don't miss anything. This one even floored my most parsimonious team of judges, although I couldn't coax them higher than a 9 -- their best score of the night -- on the traditional 10-point scale.
Head back down Howertown toward magical North Catasauqua, where the array of decorated homes defies my attempts to construct a route. If you have time, explore the side streets down Howertown, not to mention Howertown Road itself. Then turn right on Grove, at the Blue Monkey, and continue to the corner of Grove and Washington, the borough's most spectacular display. Don't miss the Ferris Wheel and Statue of Liberty out back. Across the street are more excellent displays, and it continues as you turn left onto Fourth.
At Buttonwood, turn left and look to your left to see if you can find the Baby Jesus waving at you. Turn left on Fifth, left on Cypress, and then continue to Third, where you'll turn left. Look to your right for a poignant moment from the holiday classic "A Christmas Story." From there, I encourage you to explore Second, Third and Fourth, along with tiny side streets such as Almond, and you'll see all kinds of nice displays. I put a list of all the borough's nominees on themorningcall.com Web site.
Continue down Howertown and before you hit Race Street, bear left onto Second for a block of nice displays, including 13 and the Eagles tribute next door.
Turn right on Race, go over the bridge, bear right and then up the hill. Turn left at the light, and you'll be treated to some blowup mania and other nice displays.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun