Raintree Circle neighborhood filled with holiday cheerPublished 12:06am Sunday, December 22, 2013
When Thanksgiving dinner ends at the Janettes’ house on Raintree Circle, the work starts to string thousands of lights that encompass the couple’s house at Christmastime.
Ann and Ken Janette have been decorating their house since they moved to Raintree 22 years ago. What started as just white light decorations, grew into colored and white lights, then eventually a yard full of Santas, reindeer, snowmen and other holiday characters.
The Janettes join several of their neighbors on Raintree that light up their houses during the holidays, making Raintree one of the most popular stops to see Christmas lights in Natchez.
Next to the Janettes’ house, Ed and Deanna Bowser turn their house into a musical holiday light show with more than 10,000 lights set to 13 holiday songs.
When the Bowsers moved to Natchez from Chicago in 2009, they decided to join their neighbors on the cul-de-sac in decorating their house since the Bowsers had decorated their house in Chicago.
Ed, who is the City of Natchez’s information technologies director, saw a video years ago of a musical light show, which piqued his interest. Ed bought software for his own show and has spent approximately 70 hours programming the lights to the music.
The show has grown over the years, Ed said, and this year he added snowflakes to his roof.
Ed said his neighbors have told him the Melrose-Montebello area used to be lit up all around the neighborhood for the holidays.
“It’s nice to see it coming back,” he said.
Raintree resident Sarah Cotton and her husband, Frank, also light up their house during the holidays. Cotton said she remembers the days when the neighborhood put out luminaries along the road to light the way for Santa.
“It was breathtaking,” she said.
As children got older and people moved away, Janette said, the luminary tradition eventually faded away.
But the holiday spirit on Raintree has lasted, and Bowser said he is happy the Raintree residents can add to people’s holidays.
Bowser said he has met visitors from England, Florida, Texas and other places who have stopped by his house for the show when they were in town for the holidays.
“Everyone just wants to say hi, and I’m just really glad I can add to the holidays for everyone,” he said.
Janette said the lights at her house and on Raintree really make her spirit brighter during the holidays.
“I have always loved Christmas,” Janette said. “It’s always been a great time of year for me, and with everything decorated, you can’t help be in a good mood.”