Franklin Road is a very wide street in Ponsonby. Great trees arch across the road and intertwine their leafy canopies throughout the summer. There is also something else that is special about Franklin Rd.

 Little by little, over the years, the residents have adopted the practice of ‘lighting up’ their houses for Christmas.

 Some of them have a modest approach

 but everyone does something, and some are quite elaborate,

even providing a seat for people to be photographed on,

 and inventive, using every bit of fence and verandah as a prop for lights of all colours.

 I took these photos just as the light was fading. I was on my way to the Voice Club party, in a house on Franklin Road. There we feasted, laughed and talked, relieved that our big concert was over last week,

but we still had plenty of songs inside us. And so, as is our tradition, we stepped out on to the street and sang for the crowds of people, mostly young, who walk up and down Franklin Rd once darkness falls. The atmosphere was festive, with everyone gaping and pointing at the brightly lit houses, and then stopping to enjoy our songs.
It must take a lot of coordination for everyone to light up their houses like this, and they give so much pleasure to young and old. It’s a fun place to sing, and a good way to bring a year of hard vocal work to a happy conclusion.

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