The Boulevard Lights in Ivanhoe attracts people from across Melbourne and is considered to be an essential Christmas tradition.

Each year, thousands of people drive and walk along the Boulevard each evening in the lead up to Christmas, with up to 10,000 visitors a night.

The tradition started over 60 years ago, with residents of The Boulevard and surrounding streets decorating their houses, windows and gardens with light displays, nativity scenes and Christmas decorations.

Banyule Council has supported this resident-led event over many years, providing traffic management to improve traffic flow and access for residents, and look after pedestrian safety.

This Christmas, once again, we look forward to seeing the wonderful displays put up by residents for the enjoyment of the community and to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

Help us to plan Council role for The Boulevard Lights 2023

  • Survey - are you decorating?

    To assist planning and traffic management, we'd like to know how many houses will be decorated and the location of these houses along The Boulevard.

    Complete the survey until 27 October 2023. 
  • Community drop-in session sessions

    Come to Ivanhoe Park (corner of Wamba Road and The Boulevard) to talk with Council officers about The Boulevard Lights. We'll be there on:

    • Wednesday 4 October 2023, 6pm - 7pm
    • Saturday 7 October, 10.30am - 11.30am.

Council's approach

Reassessing the community tradition

In the years prior to COVID, The Boulevard Christmas Lights attracted up to 10,000 visitors a night, prompting ongoing concerns regarding the high level of risk in mixing vehicles and pedestrians. On a number of occasions, the entire road was closed for safety reasons. This understandably caused disappointment for visitors who had waited long periods to enter the Boulevard, and difficulties for residents accessing their properties.

After two years of The Boulevard Lights not running due to COVID, the Lights returned in 2022. In the lead up, Council surveyed local residents to gain perspective about the Lights, including how future Boulevard Lights celebrations are best planned and managed. You can view the findings from the survey under 'Community Engagement'.

Our approach in 2023

Similar to 2022, our approach will be to balance traffic management, congestion and resident access, with the safety of those who come to experience the Lights.

Council's role will include:

  • To implement the same Traffic Management Plan as 2022, with some minor changes to improve the experience for both visitors and residents. View the 'Traffic Management' tab for more details
  • To provide rubbish bins and collection
  • To provide toilet facilities and drinking water.

Community engagement

What we heard

In 2022, 225 residents of The Boulevard and surrounding streets provided feedback through an online and hard copy survey.

Take a look at a summary of key findings below, or view the full findings report.

Traffic Management

Traffic Management Plan

To ease congestion, encourage traffic flow and maintain property access for residents, the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) places very few restrictions on vehicle access on and around The Boulevard.

To improve safety for pedestrians visiting The Boulevard, the TMP provides a buffer between the road and footpaths in high visitation areas and supervised crossing points in the lead-up to Christmas.

Safety measures will include:

  • Two-way traffic along the entire Boulevard
  • Pedestrians restricted to footpaths and encouraged to walk in a one-way direction, with designated crossing points.
  • Access to The Boulevard from all side streets and from Bourke Road
  • Bollards, safety tape and water-filled barriers in place along sections of The Boulevard from Friday 15 December to support early pedestrian visitation
  • Traffic controllers present along The Boulevard from Tuesday 19 December to Sunday 24 December (7.30pm – 10:30pm) during anticipated peak period
  • During the period from 19 to 24 December, the speed limit along The Boulevard will be reduced to 20km/h.
  • Restricted parking in some sections of local streets.

View map for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions