Indian Trails Steals Show…Again


-Indian Trails, a neighborhood in Palm Harbor, is known for its dazzling, almost superfluous Christmas lights, and they don’t plan to stop that tradition this year, or anytime soon.

Think your neighborhood has Christmas spirit? Try Indian Trails.

The neighborhood, which is virtually attached to PHU, is a Christmas-light haven. Floridians from across the area make the annual trek to the suburban neighborhood to view the extravagant displays.

The first two things you notice as you turn into the Christmas-Mecca is the endless row of houses that are overloaded with Christmas lights, as well as the abrupt stop you make due to the backed up carline of light-goers.

Therefore, if you plan on visiting Indian Trails anytime before Christmas, plan on giving yourself at least 45 minutes if you want to view the neighborhood in its entirety.

One of the famous houses in Indian Trails is on the corner of the main drive, where visitors see what looks like a professionally-executed light display that holds one unique theme: aliens. Mr. Banacki, the owner of the mesmerizing house, believes in the importance of spending time together with his family. He gathers his relatives for Thanksgiving to enjoy the feast and then begins the elaborate decorations the following day. Everyone must contribute. Collaboration is the only means possible to achieving what the Banacki’s achieve without the use of professionals. Their house represents the epitome of teamwork, for sightseers walk and drive by with mouths gaping in awe at tens of thousands of lights and dozens of inflatables. Houses that would stand out anywhere else hide in the shadows of Banacki’s lights.

“We probably have around 5000 lights or less which is pretty unimpressive by crazy house standards,” said, a resident of Indian Trails.

The lights and decor are only part of the festive holiday spirit.

“We watch Christmas movies on a screen with a projector at a neighbor’s house,” said junior Kendall Phillips.

“The neighborhood really comes together at Christmas time,” she said.

Not only do the residents themselves come together, but people from all over the area join in on the gathering.

“The traffic is horrible. It takes me about twenty minutes to get to my house when I pull in the neighborhood,” said Sarah Spurgeon, next door neighbor to Banacki and PHU alumni.

If you’re looking for a place to visit and see marvelous Christmas arrangements for free, Indian Trails is the place to go.