Christmas Tree Lane has been a fixture in Altadena for over 100 years.
By Jerry Friedman
Most of us have driven under the lights or included them on a festive night drive with friends and relatives. It is incredible to see all those lights in so many tall trees; it can transport even the most truculent of us into a bit of a wonderland!
Each year, volunteers put over 4 ½ miles of wire and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 bulbs in those trees. The lights are taken down each year because the trees grow and the sunlight will damage the wires and sockets. A few years ago, they switched to LED bulbs, which are lighter, less fragile and much more energy efficient, but they too are subject to the UV light of the sun. So they take down the wires and remove the bulbs, sort and pack them in bins. The light strings are rolled up on special hand-powered machines made by the volunteers and stacked on pallets for transportation and storage. Each tree is numbered as is each light string, so the wires need to be sorted and stacked in order. All those wires and bulbs have to be housed for ‘off season’, as do quite a number of ladders, poles, tables, gloves, goggles, spare gear, and safety equipment. Even their truck needs a place to be.
Late in the year, the pallets are brought back. The wires are unrolled for each tree and each socket gets tightened and checked over. Bulbs get screwed back in and the lines are tested to make sure every bulb is lit. The strings of lights are hoisted into the trees with ropes and pulleys. Tree after tree, block after block until it’s all done!
Christmas Tree Lane 103rd Anniversary Lighting Ceremony and Winter Festival Sat., Dec. 9, 2023 Winter Festival: 3:00 - 9:00 pm Lighting Ceremony: 6:00 pm Location Altadena Public Library 600 E Mariposa St Altadena, CA 91001
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