On a lazy little neighborhood Lane in Southeast Portland once a year, a shining spectacle appears like a Christmas miracle. Although, one suspects that more than a little work, artistry and holiday spirit go into creating this particular miracle. The street glows and sparkles with lights and throngs with people of all ages, the youngest with eyes wide in wonderment; the sounds of live carolers in various spots along the lane intermingles with the medley of hundreds of simultaneous hushed conversations, an orchestra of whispers.
Most of the guests are pedestrians, but cars also crawl along the little thoroughfare, holding up traffic for blocks along Stark Street in both directions nearing the north end of Peacock, where vehicles are allowed to enter. Most guests have saved themselves the frustration and come on foot or via a party bus rather than driving to Peacock Lane. The best way? Find a parking spot in the neighborhood a few blocks south of Peacock and Belmont and take a little stroll. City Police have thru-traffic on Belmont guided into one lane and the Walgreen’s parking lot is completely full before dusk.
The residents have artfully decorated their homes, each with a distinct style and theme. A sign near the south end of the street reads: “WELCOME TO PEACOCK LANE SINCE 1929.” One can assume that most of these homeowners have a lot of practice; some perhaps even carrying on the tradition through generations. The history of two of the Lane’s resident families can be found on the Peacock Lane website along with a schedule for the event. Bring your family, or if you wish to see Peacock Lane with a more adult crowd, hop on the Festibus this evening Dec. 22nd, exchange white elephant gifts, view Portland Christmas lights and barhop with the over-21 crowd. Festibus proceeds go to House of Dreams. If the bus tour is not your style, I would still suggest checking out House of Dreams and making a Christmas donation.