Flip the Switch – Time for the Big Bright Light Show

Get ready, folks! It is officially time for Rochester’s Big Bright Light Show, starting on November 20th, 2023. Millions of lights will be turned on from 5 p.m. to midnight each night throughout the holiday season in Michigan until January 7th. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and downtown Rochester helps make it so special that you can’t help but feel the holiday spirit walking around the town. It gets crowded in the street and on the sidewalks for the first couple of days, so make sure to bring your patience with you at least in the first week or so.

Big Bright Light Show

This is a fabulous time to get out and enjoy small-town life with colorful Christmas lights on every building, beautiful Christmas decorations, and amazing & creative window displays. Over 1.5 million colorful lights cover each building on Main Street and some side streets. Get your family together and come and hang out with your neighbors. Even better, meet your friends after work for some holiday shopping, dinner, and drinks. The main display of the lights changes every year, but the light color on the buildings doesn’t.

Santa Claus Display

One of the stores on Main Street, At Home Furniture, always has a fun holiday display with Santa in some interesting scenarios. It is one of the highlights to see what Santa is up to when the window displays are unveiled. This display is probably one of the funniest on the street.

Home Bakery Display

The window displays get more creative each year because they are all vying to win the holiday decoration title. But, the one who has one it several years in a row, and most deservedly so, is the Home Bakery. Their window display is more elaborate yearly, with more fondant, icing, and time spent creating it. Many of the items in the display are edible, including all the characters. The Beauty and Beast display included 158 pounds of marshmallow coating and 96 quarts of buttercream, and it took over 700 hours of labor.

Window Displays

I love walking and looking into all the shops to see how creative the store has been on their window displays. There is usually something interesting and eye-catching that I can find in almost every window. Here are some of my other favorite window displays from previous years.


My favorite thing to do is to find your favorite color of lights, so you can pose and get your selfie or photograph with them. My aunt Betty, niece Kayla, and I have all got our pictures taken in front of the lights so many times we have lost count. Which color is your favorite? My favorite is the light gold one.

Something Extra

There are so many things to see walking up and down the sidewalks of downtown especially if you are a photographer (amateur or professional). I always can find something that catches my eye or I might just practice my night photography skills. You never know when you might see a lit Christmas tree in the back of a pick-up truck drive down the road.

I love seeing that I’m not the only person being silly and taking pictures of everything. All the people walking around give this such a festive atmosphere that you will want to keep going. Remember to pack your patience if you are in a car; the person in front of you is enjoying the scenery just like you.

If you are one of the many who come to view the Big Bright Light Show or wish you were, I would love to hear from you. What are your favorite window displays and holiday traditions? Have you visited a small town during Christmas that has blown you away with its displays? Where is your favorite place to take a Christmas Vacation? While most people spend Christmas with their families, others take trips to new locations and enjoy the festivities. If you are one of the latter, why not visit Rochester during the holidays?

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Detroit for the holidays, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

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