During the holiday season, in what is normally a small and quiet suburban neighborhood of Woodland Hills, a transformation takes place.
What started as a tradition over fifty years ago has become a seasonal San Fernando Valley destination. Numerous residents decorate their houses and yards with Christmas lights every year creating the popular attraction, Candy Cane Lane.
The lack of snow in December doesn’t keep residents of the eight-square block area between Lubao Avenue and Oxnard Street from creating their own winter wonderland. At no cost anyone can drive by and share in the neighborhood’s holiday spirit.
For the residents of Candy Cane Lane an ordinary string of lights outlining their homes is not enough. A spectacle of colorful lights, moving reindeer, nativity scenes, Santa Clauses in every size, and large ornaments hanging from tall trees, complete with holiday music, barely sums up what to expect in this neighborhood.
By driving or walking around the area you can spot an eclectic variety of pop culture icons from Mickey Mouse to Pokemon all part of the holiday yard exhibits.’
Ryan Glowaski, a resident in the neighborhood and CSUN alumni has been participating in the holiday festivities for four years now. He said it is a tradition for residents to pass down the decorating from one generation to the next. He added that owners tend to sell their houses to buyers who promise to continue with the tradition.’ Some even leave behind decorations for future families.
Glowaski currently resides in the house where his mother -in-law grew up. She was part of one of the first families who started the Candy Cane Lane light festivities.
Glowaski said he uses about 50,000 light bulbs in his display, including a 20-foot-long Merry Christmas sign, and a snow man with artificial snow.
If you ask Glowaski why he chooses to spend long hours decorating and then taking everything down after the holidays, he smiles and offers a simple answer.
‘I decorate for people like you who come every year to enjoy the lights,’ said Glowaski.
His wife and children stand outside as he continues his work. Glowaski’s wife adds that they continue to decorate because they know all kids, especially their own, will enjoy it.
When they’re not decorating their own house, the Glowaski’s take time to enjoy their neighbors’ holiday displays.
‘We tend to drive around Candy Cane Lane three to four times a week,’ said Glowaski.
Another resident of the neighborhood, Sonny Lopez, resides on the street titled, Candle Light Lane. He moved to Woodland Hills about 40 years ago.
‘When I bought the house there was a sign that said Candle Light Lane and I asked the real estate agent what that meant, but she wouldn’t tell me. She told me to wait until the holidays came around and I would find out.’
Ever since then, Lopez and his family have been adding to their light display every year. With decorating taking a couple of weeks to set up the they start right after Thanksgiving. Though there is no set date for the displays to come down the Lopez family keeps their decorations up until Jan. 8.
‘I enjoy looking at children’s faces when they see the lights,’ said Lopez.
Extremely proud of his family tradition, one of his favorite parts about Candy Cane Lane is the visitor interest.
‘People love to hear about how long it’s been,’ said Lopez.
Whether you are all about the holiday spirit, or need a boost to get into it consider taking a trip down Candy Cane Lane.