For five decades, residents along Edmonton’s 148 Street have been going the extra mile to make their yards look festive during the holidays.
Now, for its 50th anniversary, so-called Candy Cane Lane has officially been given the name.
Edmonton’s most decorated neighbourhood opened for the 2018 season on Friday.
As a way to acknowledge all the homeowners’ efforts, the city put up street signs officially naming Candy Cane Lane and giving it a unique place in Edmonton history.
“Fifty years, if you can believe it!” organizer Duane Hunter said.
“In 1968, five families got together — five residents — just a little bit further down the lane, started making cutouts for one another. They took the cutouts and they passed them down to their neighbours and they slowly got more and more neighbours involved and they started Candy Cane Lane.”
Watch: After 50 years, Candy Cane Lane has thrilled generations of Edmontonians. It feels more like a Christmas constant, but it’s actually more of an evolution. Fletcher Kent examines a half century of lights.
“Fifty years later and look what we have,” Hunter said. “We’ve got a civic event that’s really supported by the community and the city, and it’s amazing what’s happening.”
A committee was organized in 2010 to help decorate trees, support residents and take over co-ordination of sleigh rides.
“It’s tradition now,” Hunter said.
“We get people calling all the time: ‘Can we get tickets? We’ve got to get on the sleighs. This is what we do every year. This is our family’s tradition every year.'”
“It’s so organic… the people started it,” he added.
Hunter said there was some numerical symbolism this year as well: 148 homes on the lane, which is actually 148 Street.
Candy Cane Lane runs from December 7th to January 1st from sunset to midnight and collects donations for the Edmonton Food Bank.
Watch below: Gord Steinke interviews the Edmonton Food Bank’s Tamisan Bencz-Knight about how it is helped by Candy Cane Lane.
Watch: For five decades, it’s been the Edmonton attraction that brings light to the darkest of days in winter. Gord Steinke takes a look back at the history of Candy Cane Lane.
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