Nothing signifies the holiday season in Vacaville more than the dazzling bright lights of Candy Cane and Lollipop Lanes.
A Solano County classic for more than 25 years, the festive streets commonly known as Arlene Drive and Shady Glen Avenue, have been warming the hearts of Vacaville residents with a plethora of holiday decorations since the 1980s. As the lights are hung and candy canes begin to line the streets, Solano County residents know the holiday season is approaching.
Roulou Avila, a resident of Candy Cane Lane, has lived on the street since the holiday tradition began. Avila and her family say their decorations tend to be not as elaborate as other homes in the neighborhood. However, Avila loves being part of a tradition that brings so much joy to local families.
“It makes you feel warm that you’re giving a family an outing that doesn’t cost anything,” Avila says.
As the Avila family gears up for the holiday season, they laugh about how for the next month, they can’t order pizza without having to wait hours for it to be delivered because of the backup on North Orchard Avenue, the street adjacent to Candy Cane Lane.
“The whole thing is worth it,” Avila says.
Avila says the tradition began when a few families moved into various homes on the street. Those select neighbors just happened to be avid holiday decorators. Eventually the tradition of decorating became a neighborhood affair, with a majority of homes participating.
In addition to the lights and detailed decorations, the neighborhood’s residents also host a canned food drive, where food is donated to local churches and food lockers, Avila says.
In the days leading up to the start of the holiday season, neighbors have meetings to discuss plans for the season.
Though there is no official date when Candy Cane Lane opens to the public with holiday decor, Avila says neighbors usually have their homes decorated by the day after Thanksgiving or the day of Merriment on the Main, which is set for Tuesday this year, when the Christmas tree in Downtown Vacaville will be lit.
Avila says she likes to correlate her outdoor decorations with her next door neighbors, though another resident believes houses tend to be unique in their decor.
“We’re all very individualistic,” Candy Cane Lane resident Kathy says.
Kathy has lived in her home since the holiday decorating began and enjoys the festivities.
“We all love to do it and share the joy with the town,” she say.
The majority of homes on Candy Cane Lane and Lollipop Lanes are decorated, though a number of residents were continuing Friday to put the final touches on their homes.
For Avila, one of the best parts of being involved in her neighborhood’s holiday festivities is bringing joy to the children and families who visit the streets.
The holiday decorations are up now and are expected to remain up until New Years