- Posted December 19, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Christmas where you live
The Legend of Candy Cane Lane
The people living in the neighborhood started decorating their houses like this more than 40 years ago, Lloyd who now lives more than three miles away always makes sure he drives down at Christmas to have a look: “It is pretty cool seeing blocks and blocks of homes involved in making it one huge decoration.”
- stinabacker, CNN iReport producer
A couple of weeks ago, I submitted an article about the tradition of the Sleepy Hollow section of Torrance, CA and how entire blocks were decorated for Christmas, transforming it to Candy Cane Lane (see: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-889727). In the vetting process I was asked a couple questions that I decided to do a little more research on. The two questions were, why is it called Sleepy Hollow and how long have they been decorating it as Candy Cane Lane.
Last year, I had submitted a similar article and when vetted, I was asked how long it had been going on, so I asked my dad who told me he thought it had been going on for at least 40 years. I am not sure how it came about, but a friend of mine mentioned that he knew who it was that had started the "Christmas Light Extravaganza" and he put me in touch with a Mr. Bob Solomon.
To summarize Mr. Solomon's story, it started in 1985 when his neighbor strung up some white Christmas lights in his tree. Mr. Solomon thought it looked pretty neat, so he approached the neighbor and suggested they try to get the entire neighborhood involved. His neighbor did not seem interested, so Mr. Solomon, his wife and three children made up some fliers and passed them around the neighborhood in an attempt to generate some interest. They even offered to assist their neighbors in putting up the lights.
They ended up having a large block party complete with Santa Claus and a potluck. According to him, 600-700 neighbors that had only nodded to each other in passing previously partook in the event. The rest, as he puts it, "is history." The decorating just started spreading around to adjoining blocks.
Today, people drive in from all over Southern California to experience the event. Christmas lights, carolers, hot chocolate and cookies all await you at this fun, family event.
If you want to see all my photos from last night as well as Mr. Solomon's complete rendition of the Legend of Candy Cane Lane, please visit http://www.gotbaddog.com/the-legend-of-candy-cane-lane/