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LED running lights are used to decorate Christmas Trees, Festival Surroundings and even Buildings. A Clock and a counter are basically required. Many LEDs can be used in parallel with driver transistors. Upto 15 count is is good enough. Many colors can be used and with a PWM or VCO you can make it Audio or Music effects lights like strobe lights.
Electronique Réalisations - Roulette
Multi-Colored LEDs and drivers and even PIC microelectronics with Visual Effects in the form of ROM tables can make Alphabets and Numbers appear in LED arrays. Some have made Mini Ocillosocpes and Toy Spectrum Analyzers too in LED DOT Matrix Arrays.
LED Sequencer Circuit
See these circuits you will get an idea, Using CD4514 is also possible.
555 and CD4017 Running Lights