What It's Like to Spend Christmas Eve on Candy Cane Lane

The festive Poway neighborhood attracts hundreds, perhaps thousands of visitors every holiday season

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Rudy Vidal spends months planning and setting up his home’s elaborate Christmas display every year.

“We cannot even leave, go on vacation, because we have to be here on Christmas,” Vidal said. “Thanksgiving, we were supposed to go out and visit friends, but that would've taken away time from our decorating.”

Vidal moved into Candy Cane Lane in Poway in1990 and has been decorating his home ever since.

Hickory Street in Poway

“It started with a few lights, and it's just grown and grown,” Vidal said.

What it's grown into is a winter wonderland that, along with other homes in the neighborhood, attracts hundreds, perhaps thousands of visitors every holiday season.

“My favorite part is taking pictures. because they [the lights] are beautiful,” said Holy, a resident of Candy Cane Lane.

Holy and her family moved to the U.S. from Egypt just two years ago.

“We came here last year, and we enjoyed [the lights], and we decided this year to come again,” said Pola, Holy’s dad.

Sharon and her husband, Jim, who were visiting from Santa Barbara, also raved about the displays.

“This is my thing,” Sharon said. “I love Christmas lights.”

“It's nice to see the energy and people getting in the spirit, especially with COVID and all that,” Jim said.

For years, Candy Cane Lane has been known to offer families one of the best light displays in the county.

“It is a lot of work, but it is so rewarding to see the kids,” said Jane Steinmetz, Candy Cane Lane resident. “They stand in front and point out all the individual animals, what they like, what they see. Just to see their joy makes it worth it.”

Steinmetz moved into the neighborhood four years ago and has been decorating her home ever since.

“It's great to see the kids' faces and their joy, just kind of watching everything,” Steinmetz said. “It’s a great experience.”

“It’s Christmas,” Vidal said. “We do it because we just do it. It's for the people, especially the kids. They like coming by and seeing the lights. They enjoy it.”

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