The road sign post reads 'Santa Rosa Avenue,' but everyone in Altadena and nearby Pasadena knows it as 'Christmas Tree Lane.'
Every year, since 1930, automobiles and walkers have journeyed up this street after dark to experience one of Southern California's most emotionally satisfying array of holiday light shows, with colorful globes hanging on the elongated branch arms of spectular deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) trees.
How to describe this magical experience? Think Christmas tree illustrations from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas' or Bing Crosby singing 'White Christmas' with a stand of towering snow-laden cedars in the background.
Though Christmas Tree Lane's deodars are rarely snow-laden due to the mild Southern California climate, they do come alive every year with extensive strands of 10,000 colored lights that draw visitors to the mile-long 'lane' from around the world.
What makes Christmas Tree Lane, an official California Landmark listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, special is that since 1956, Altadena's Christmas Tree Lane Community Association (CTLA) has continued this tradition on a purely volunteer basis, seeking donations to cover the electricity utility costs, and stringing and maintaining the light show through hundreds of hours of service from the efforts of local homeowners and renters, senior citizens and schoolchildren, Altadena veterans and newcomers to the community.
If you've visited Christmas Tree Lane before, why not drive by this year and recapture the magic of this "Mile of Christmas Trees."? If you've never visited, come on by and start a new family holiday tradition. The show runs nightly from dusk to midnight, now through January 6, 2010. Come see what happens when nature, technology and love converge along a foothills lane.
For directions and more details: http://bit.ly/8BtyZr.