20 most festive cities in the U.S.


With the holidays just around the corner and the sun setting earlier and earlier, it’s the perfect time to brighten your home with a sparkling light display. Whether you’re gathering for a celebration or just enjoying the coziness of home, decorating with lights is a tried and true way to make home a welcoming spot in winter. If you look forward to the lights every winter, you’re not alone.

Thumbtack revealed the list of the ‘Most Festive Cities in the U.S.’ based on data from millions of home projects booked from across all 50 states.

20 most festive U.S. cities.

Austin, Texas holiday Christmas lights skylineThe list represents the cities with the most holiday spirit, with Texas landing three of the top five spots. The most festive cities in the U.S. based on Thumbtack’s findings are:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Dallas Ft. Worth, Texas
  3. Seattle, Washington 
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Phoenix, Arizona
  7. Atlanta, Georgia
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Kansas City, Missouri 
  10. San Antonio, Texas
  11. Chicago, Illinois
  12. Orlando, Florida
  13. Tampa, Florida
  14. Nashville, Tennessee
  15. Portland, Oregon
  16. West Palm Beach, Florida
  17. Charlotte, North Carolina
  18. Raleigh, North Carolina
  19. Detroit, Michigan
  20. San Diego, California

Related: 13 winter curb appeal ideas for your home.

When's the best time to book holiday light installation?

professional hanging up holiday lights on houseSo when should you book your holiday lights installation? According to the findings, the second to last week of November (21 - 27) is the most popular time of year to hang holiday lights.

“Christmas light installers book very quickly once the holiday season is in gear, so plan to call and schedule your installation as early as possible,” states David Steckel, Home Expert at Thumbtack. “Putting up lights is a festive way to decorate your house, but it can also be time-consuming, stressful and dangerous. Instead of taking the risk of falling off a ladder and spending the holidays on crutches or starting an electrical fire, hire a professional who will go over your options to make your vision come to life and use the right special equipment to hang everything safely and properly.”

Holiday light installation cost and savings tips.

Christmas lights on houseAcross the country, the average cost to hire a holiday lighting pro is $168-$300 and wrapping outdoor trees with holiday lights can cost $60+ depending on the type, shape and height of the tree.

If you're on a tight budget this holiday season, there are lots of ways to save money on holiday light installations and still have an end result that brings joy to the world. A few things to consider:

  • Purchase your own lights instead of buying lights from the installer.
  • Buy your holiday lights during the off-season or when they go on sale after the holidays.
  • Choose LED lights that will use less electricity and last for more holiday seasons.They may cost more upfront, but save on energy costs over time.
  • Be selective. Pick just a few areas to light in the exact way you want, rather than your entire home.
  • Schedule your light show. Have your installer put your holiday lights on a timer in order to keep your electricity bill down.

To hire a local professional and get a free personalized home maintenance plan, download the Thumbtack app (available on iOS and Android).

Methodology: Data is from consumer requests on the Thumbtack platform from January 2022 to the present for holiday lighting installations and removals. Rankings were based on the relative frequency of such requests adjusted for the population of state and metropolitan areas. All pricing data is based on national average cost estimates using data provided by Thumbtack pros and additional research, actual prices may vary based on city and supply.

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