Reverend Deacon Dave’s (Dave Rezendes is known as Deacon Dave) 40th annual holiday lights ignite on December 1, 2023, and run through January 1, 2024.
About 45 minutes from Oakland, the spectacular lights with patriotism and whimsy make the annual holiday lights at Deacon Dave’s totally worth the drive for tri-valley and East Bay families. The epic display takes over a single property, but you’ll feel transported to a magical Christmas wonderland. This year, the theme is “America Celebrates Our Heroes.”
How do they get so many lights packed into such a small space?! It’s a work of Christmas art. And it’s not just lighting, Deacon Dave and his team of volunteers have built a dozen adorable and intricate Christmas displays.
The most notable mechanical light display is the Ferris wheel. It’s dedicated to all branches of service members of the United States armed forces as well as other kinds of heroes; its seats are occupied by elves and teddy bears dressed as a teacher, doctor, nurse, firefighter, and police officer. There are beautiful Christmas trees and a merry-go-round, too.
Deacon Dave and the team have designed a path to follow under the arch of lights, past the window display of a substantial Christmas village in the snow, and over a little bridge with a waterfall fountain.
These folks string up more than 600,000 lights! It’s a real impressive undertaking! And this is their 38th year, after a hiatus last year due to covid safety concerns.
The whole walk-through takes about 15 minutes. It was a perfect length for my 8, 6, 4, and 1-year-old, as well as our 2 and 4-year-old visiting family members. People were very entertained by the chaos of the small kid herd, the volunteers sitting at various points along the path were friendly and helpful.
Please note: Because this is an outdoor walk, it may be closed due to rainy weather.
Tips and suggestions to enjoy your visit to Deacon Dave’s
- It’s chilly out after dark! Bring warm coats and hats to minimize the whining (didn’t work for us at all though, the kiddos complained they were freezing under winter coats the entire wait in line).
- Bring some cash. There are booths to the left of the entrance selling kettle corn and hot cocoa, and guys peddling those light-up glowing balloon thingies…you know stuff your kids are gonna get excited about and want you to dole out cash for.
- Bring some coins. There is a wishing pond and mail slots designed for kids to toss coins into, the mail slots open and close and you’ve got to have good aim and timing to make it in! The coins from the coin toss benefit his charity, Santa’s Secret Service (which provides gifts to children in need).
Plan your visit to Deacon Dave’s
There are so many really cool Christmas light events all over the place this time of year. As a parent of four kids, ticket prices can really add up. I very much appreciate Deacon Dave and all the volunteers putting so much work into something the kids enjoyed so much, free of cost.
Hours: Lights are sparkling Sunday through Thursday night 6-9 and Friday and Saturday until 10. Note the hours on the sign below.
Location: 352 Hillcrest Ave, Livermore, CA
There’s plenty of street parking.
Start your adventure at the reopened indoor play space, Lost Worlds in Livermore (7 minutes away). While you’re in Livermore, you’re only a 15-minute drive from more lights at Candy Cane Lane in Pleasanton.