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How Altadena’s Christmas Tree Lane came to be an iconic lighting spectacle every holiday season

in Community

Christmas Tree Lane has been lighting up more than 100 trees each holiday season for over a century, according to local volunteers and the Altadena Historical Society. The large deodars span nearly a mile on Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena.

The association that runs Christmas Tree Lane’s annual lighting is made up of volunteers. A plaque that sits on the lane says the California registered historical landmark is the “oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in Southern California.”

The beginning of the lane goes back to the start of Altadena. Altadena historians say John Woodbury, an early habitant of what we now know as Altadena, had seen the deodar trees on a trip to Italy in the 1880s. They say he liked the trees, which mean ‘tree of God,’ so much that he checked with the department of agriculture to make sure they would thrive if he were to plant them in California.

Woodbury’s brother, Captain Frederick Woodbury, a retired military officer, germinated the deodar seeds in his backyard. He had a house just off Mariposa, which historians say was the first home to be built in the area.

Continue Reading on ABC 7

Healdsburg’s Christmases past and present

in Event

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Healdsburg has witnessed Christmases of the past, present and future. The centerpiece of Christmas Present is the majestic, bejeweled and lighted tree erected in the Plaza by the city and the tourism improvement district. It is a stunning addition to the town’s bustling crosswalks. Healdsburg’s Christmas Future will be the one celebrated without masks and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. And, Healdsburg’s Christmases Past hold many tales of earlier spirits, cherished memories and a few episodes almost lost to history.

This year’s Plaza tree is a true holiday highlight, but does anyone remember Healdsburg’s holiday time flying elves? Before wine tasting rooms, restaurants and inns ringed the Plaza, the local holiday decorating and event budget was fairly meager. A generation ago, the fledgling downtown business association tried to compete with well-funded destinations like Coddingtown, Montgomery Village and the new Santa Rosa Mall. Out of this David versus Goliath tale was born the idea for Healdsburg to be the selected location for two of Santa’s elves to parachute onto the town’s green. Big plans were made and promotions were prepared for radio, TV and newspapers. Healdsburg — not yet discovered as a Wine Country capital — would earn a star on the Bay Area map. Except the elves never landed.

Continue Reading on SocoNews

Sonoma Holiday Event Guide 2021: Christmas Parades & Santa Stops

in Community

SONOMA, CA — Get out your calendars! Time to start planning as holiday festivities gear up in Sonoma Valley and throughout the North Bay and San Francisco region.

Christmas this year falls on a Saturday, Dec. 25. Hanukkah 2021 came a bit early, beginning Sunday, Nov. 28 at sundown, and runs through Monday, Dec. 6.

Peruse Patch’s annual holiday guide, find nearby events and select the outings that appeal to you and yours. Many events kick off soon, while several require advance bookings, and space may be limited.

Continue Reading on Patch

Best Holiday Lights In America May Be In Rohnert Park: Enter

in Community

ROHNERT PARK, CA — We’re on a quest to find the Best Holiday Lights In America, and the title could go to one of the twinkling displays that make Rohnert Park such a magical place at this time of the year.

We’ll show off the best and brightest of your North Pole-(or Clark Griswold) inspired displays on Patch right before Christmas.

Continue reading on Patch

Vandals steal lights, break reindeer, yank down Santa’s sleigh in northern California

in People

A Sonoma County family is trying to restore their holiday display after it was stripped by vandals.

Both parents are essential workers, juggling jobs and two children, and are disappointed that someone trashed their effort.

“It’s Christmas time, we’re all supposed to have the Christmas spirit,” Alden Dolcini said while restoring toppled decorations at his Cody Court home in Santa Rosa. “This is just plain rude, we took a lot of time to set this up, so being a Grinch on Christmas is just terrible.”

Dolcini is a firefighter for CalFire, stationed in St. Helena on 72 hours shifts.

His wife, Cristie, is a medical assistant at Kaiser Medical Center in Santa Rosa.

Continue Reading on KTVU

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