Vehicles Jam Pack Jacksonville neighborhood for Christmas lights

The Blackhawk Bluff neighborhood on Girvin Road, known for its Christmas lights, has seen a steady surge in traffic as families look for COVID-safe vacation activities.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Blackhawk Bluff neighborhood of Girvin Road during the holidays is nothing new. For the past several decades, the Jacksonville neighborhood of East Arlington has had some of the best Christmas lights in the state, drawing families from all over the First Coast.

That heavy traffic has gotten denser this year as families seek out COVID-19 safe vacation activities, according to residents.

Casey Jones, who lives in Blackhawk Bluff, has been participating in the exhibition for about five years, decorating his house, garden and trees with elaborate lights and music.

“Our traffic has tripled,” Jones said of the night owls. “The only thing we can put down to this is that people are paranoid about COVID. There isn’t much that people can do and feel safe about it.”

Jones said the heaviest traffic in the past few years has been on Christmas Eve and the weekend before Christmas, but the neighborhood is already seeing that traffic.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office stepped in to aid direct traffic. That solution isn’t permanent, however, as officials may be pulled out of the traffic detail if another service call comes in, Jones said.

He launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the neighborhood and hire an off duty officer to direct traffic for the next year. Jones said the funds would also help others in the neighborhood buy lights so they too can partake in one of the area’s most important fairy lights.

To pay for the service, the JSO officer directs traffic at both entrances to Blackhawk Bluff on Girvin Road. Because of the virus, our traffic has tripled and quadrupled this year. We believe families feel very safe charging in their car and heading to the best Christmas light district in Jacksonville …

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