Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena will once again light up during the 96th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Winter Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, December 10. The Arts and Crafts Festival begins at 2:00 p.m. with the Christmas Tree Lane Lighting at 6:00 p.m.
Christmas lights will be strung in the more than 100 deodar trees on Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbury Avenue and Altadena Drive, also known as “Mile of Christmas Trees.”
The annual lighting sponsored by Christmas Tree Lane Association is now considered the “oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the United States.”
Real estate magnate John P. Woodbury of the Woodbury Family facilitated the planting of 134 deodar trees at the two sides of the road to serve as a grand mile-long driveway entrance to the mansion he planned to build.
Woodbury’s mansion was never constructed, but the trees thrived and the “driveway” became Santa Rosa Avenue.
The annual tradition started in 1920 when Altadena resident and department store owner Frederick C. Nash organized the first tree-lighting spectacle.
The lane is now recognized as the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas display in the world, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as California State Landmark No. 990.
Since 1956, the tradition has been kept alive by the Christmas Tree Lane Association, a nonprofit group that has preserved the Lane without corporate sponsors or government funding, relying only on community support.
The nonprofit puts up the lights between October and early December, then work on taking them down from February to April. In the spring and fall, volunteers rebuild the lines, replace faulty bulb, and clear the brush growing under the trees.
The event is free and open to the public. Visit www.christmastreelane.net for more information.