Candy Cane Lane

Lola Gagich, Staff Writer

Most people in SCV have heard or seen of Wakefield Center’s iconic decorations. With every house on the block decorated full out for the holidays, its no wonder the street is a tradition for a lot of families. 

Wakefield’s Candy Cane Lane has been building a staple Christmas for 28 years now. It’s a continuous tradition the homeowners take very seriously. Sophomore Charlee Bonilla, a resident of Wakefield Ct. describes the decorating process as: “[Not as] stressful as it is time-consuming for [her] family.” While there are no official deadlines or requirements, according to Charlee, “Personal house lights must be up and lit by the first of December when the street officially opens. Most houses have their lights up before this date to ensure that there are no broken lights or mixed-up timers.” This is because many people in the neighborhood try to get them up by Thanksgiving weekend.

The Scroll spoke to the “Mayor”, as residents of Candy Cane Lane call him, Rich S., asking him questions about the street, the schedules and other details that really add some magic to the street. Rich S. even informed the scroll of the origin of the street. In his words, “After the 1994 earthquake, all of the neighbors got together at that time to help each other with the damage,[..] Because of this, they all got to know each other and decided to start decorating the street together at Christmas time.  This kept up year after year and grew over time.  With that, people started to take notice and began coming to look at the neighborhood.  This continued year after year and grew accordingly to what it is today.” The winter wonderland goes beyond the light shows in the community. 

Of course, such an iconic tradition would be cause for extreme traffic. When asked how residents combat this, Rich S. said, “Everyone tries to get home before it gets dark and then tries not to leave as getting back on the street can be tough. The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it is.” He also informed me the neighbors work together often to avoid having to deal with the holiday traffic. “We all know each other on this street and are all friends, so if anyone ever needs anything, we can text someone and have it within a few minutes.  There is not community quite like this one.  We just plan to hang out in our driveways in December and eat at home.  Many nights, we  feed each other as we tend to hop from driveway to driveway and garage to garage.  We do a lot of work putting up our displays and December is our time to enjoy it as well.  Only, we get to enjoy it every single night.” The lights have brought together not only families visiting, but the families that makes the magic happen. 

When entering the street, you will also see large candy cane decorations lining the entrance, as well as lights strung across the top that say, “Wakefield Winter Wonderland.” Wonderland is definitely an appropriate word for the street at this time. The houses on this street all have their own themes and next-level decorating. This year, ones that particularly stuck out to me were a house covered in penguins, and a house featuring a car with a life-sized Grinch in the drivers seat as well as playing the 1996 “How the Grinch stole Christmas!” in the window, with whos included on the lawn (pictured.) 

Santa Clarita’s appreciation for the Winter Wonderland is obvious when you see the street around the holidays. Cars and pedestrians flood the streets for most of the evening. “During December it can be difficult to live on the street after dark due to the crowds and traffic. My family tries to limit the number of times we leave our street after 6:00 pm because of these crowds.” Charlee says. I visited Monday Dec. 5, and already the streets were crowded. Charlee has also said that with the crowds, comes a lot of trash: “a couple of years ago we didn’t have as many trash cans located around the street and so the amount of trash found on the sidewalks was certainly alarming. Now the city comes by to empty the trash cans, especially after the weekends.” When asked, Charlee said if she could say one thing to people visiting the street, it would be “to be considerate of the people that live here.” Ensure when visiting, you use the designated trash cans to help keep the street a wonderland for everyone. 

This is a Santa Clarita staple many look forward to. The good news is, just like the Wakefield Ct. traffic, the tradition doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon.