CANDY CANE LANE is back in 2021 – El Segundo, CA


As the sign says, Candy Cane Lane – Bringing Holiday Joy Since 1949… for over 70 years.

When it comes to tradition, not many cities on the West Coast, let alone small towns, exude tradition as much as El Segundo, in the South Bay of California during the Holidays. Candy Cane Lane on the 1200 block of East Acacia Avenue is one specific block in town that tends to sparkle more than all the other streets during the Christmas Season.

A little glimpse of some of the homes looking down Candy Cane Lane.

El Segundo prides its self on tradition and on the “hometown” feel. The town has been doing that for literally just over one hundred years as it not long ago celebrated its Centennial. During El Segundo’s past century, the town has consistently thrown parades throughout the year (except for 2020), none bigger than the El Segundo Holiday Parade.

“Merry On Main” the annual Holiday Parade will be traveling down Main Street in El Segundo starting at Imperial Ave all through Downtown.

In fact, this year marks the 57th Annual Parade, “Merry On Main” on Sunday, December 12th from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. It features local schools, organizations, marching bands, vintage cars, local businesses, and festive floats. And at the conclusion of the parade, Santa Claus himself travels along the parade route aboard one of El Segundo’s beautiful Fire Department Fire Engines.

Santa Claus waving to all the good boys & girls, you & old alike.

Kris Kringle is then escorted by some of El Segundo’s finest Police Department, through the streets of the town, waving to all the good boys and girls, letting them know where he’s headed.

Even big boys like myself, never are too old to get feel like a little kid seeing Ol’ Saint Nick saying “Ho, Ho, Ho’ to me.

They’re off to bring joy to all the town now, traveling through street after street each and every night until Santa returns to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

Every Christmas Tree should have a train set going around the bottom of it. So every Candy Cane Lane should have a house with trains too… at least I think so!

Though almost every street in El Segundo seems to be decorated with Christmas lights during the season, one block truly displays the Holiday Magic, Candy Cane Lane. Since 1949 this cul-de-sac of 26 homes is closed off to cars, and each neighbor joins in on the no-holds-bar decorating.

Sparkle, sparkle, and sparkle some more. It truly is that most wonderful time of the year.

Every house on the block is decorated from the lawns to rooftops, each with a different theme. Acacia Avenue is transformed from a street into a community, one filled with Christmas Joy.

Not long back I didn’t even have to bundle up too bad to enjoy Candy Cane Lane.

One of the best reasons why El Segundo’s Candy Cane Lane stands out among others in the Los Angeles area is that the entire street is blocked off to traffic all night and only open to pedestrians. This just adds to making it special, extremely special for the kids. Not only can everyone just stroll at their own pace, taking in each house at their leisure, go crazy with all the pictures of the incredible displays, or just non-stop selfies, but it allows for the piece de resistance… Santa Claus.

The man himself: Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Saint Nick… Santa Claus! Candy Cane Lane is one of the only ones that allow the opportunity for boys & girls, young & old, to meet him. That’s what makes El Segundo so special.

Yes, back to Santa Claus. The biggest night of Candy Cane Lane is opening night. The Firemen let the kids check out the Fire Truck, the Policemen pose for pics with the little ones and the families line up in full force for their chance to meet Saint Nick. With almost all the other Candy Cane Lane’s around L.A. only available to drive through, this one elevates it to a special place. After all, seeing the children’s faces light up, sitting on Santa’s lap pretty much sums up what this time of year is all about; that joy and wonder in a little kid’s eyes. It’s what we as adults live for and still fills our thoughts with memories of childhood past.

We’re all young at heart when we’re strolling along Candy Cane Lane. Just ask my wife Nicole, hot cocoa in hand.

After the opening night Santa Claus has been there on most weekend nights leading up to Christmas, but due to safety, please make sure you check the current schedules, as he might only be there on opening night, then be off to the North Pole. This year, Candy Cane Lane is only open from Saturday, December 11th through Friday, December 24th, 2021 from 6 pm until 10 pm, Santa only appears from 7 pm until 9 pm on the night he is there for sure.

Santa makes his way around all the homes on Candy Cane Lane one way or another.

Secondly, since it’s FREE, which is fantastic, but since it doesn’t cost anything, and now with social media, Candy Cane Lane has surely grown in popularity among those coming from outside of El Segundo each night. How well known and popular you might wonder? Candy Cane Lane is a landmark on Google Maps and has its own Yelp page.

The year before last, Santa gave us the chance to see what it would be like to guide his sleigh that night.

That kind of popularity brings big crowds, so much so that for the past three years (minus 2020) in the 70 plus years of history, the El Segundo Police used a couple of their vehicles as barricades at the entrance of the street and provided more Police presence for the safety to help manage traffic. Which they will continue to do this year.

When I mentioned how bad parking can be, even the homeowners on Candy Cane Lane have to be creative where they park during the Festivities.

Thirdly, all those people mean a lot more cars than normal. Where one used to be able to park a few spots from Candy Cane Lane, now those days are usually over. But don’t let the parking discourage you. In fact, parking a few short blocks away just adds a bit to the night.

Not sure if you’re heading in the right direction? Some of the houses on the way to Candy Cane Lane have you covered with their decorations.

Why? Well with the crisp weather, hopefully, a warm drink in hand, so many of the homes surrounding Candy Cane Lane now have joined in on the fun, decorating more than just a few lights, getting in on their own bit of pride knowing that many people will be walking by.

You always know when you’re on thee Candy Cane Lane, but in case you’re not sure, Mrs. Claus is there to let remind you.

Just like there may be long lines to wait to meet Santa Claus, (speaking of which, there are no public restrooms, so plan accordingly), but lately they’ve been selling hot chocolate at Santa’s tent, which we’re all hoping they will again this year. In the last few years, they were also collecting monetary and packaged food donations with all the proceeds going to local charities. So again, here’s hoping they will this year. You can help out a good cause, plus after receiving a Candy Cane from Santa, stir it in your hot chocolate as you return to enjoy all the lights.

You can see the lights from the rooms of the Embassy Suites Hotel behind Candy Cane Lane. Talk about a bonus for travelers staying during the month of December being able to look out each night seeing the display on hand.

This is the pride and joy of that place known to locals as “Mayberry By The Sea”. This is our Candy Cane Lane, unlike any other town. El Segundo hosts numerous humongous Annual events throughout the year…the Independence Day Festival by day & 4th Of July Fireworks display at night, the El Segundo Home Town Fair & Carnival, the El Segundo Richmond Street Fair, and the Halloween festivities just to name a few. They even had their massive Centennial Celebration. But El Segundo loves, and I mean loves their Holiday Parade that leads to the opening night of Candy Cane Lane.

Candy Cane Lane will always warm you inside no matter how chilly it is outside with the Christmas Spirit.

Not enough can be said of the dedication of the 26 homeowners who year in and year out, put on the displays that they do. As I mentioned, each home is done up to a different theme and over the years each resident seems to stick to their expertise, except for a few tweaks here and there. The results are quite dazzling. From the moment you approach the beginning of Candy Cane Lane, you hear the music, see the twinkling of each house lighting up the entire block as it begins to warm up your heart on those chilly nights.

It surely is something spectacular, seeing all the houses lined up, all decorated to the max!

On a side note, one of the homes at the end of the block, located right next to Santa’s Sleigh, was up for sale a couple of years ago. My wife wanted us to buy this house so bad! I, of course, thought heck no, lol. What a headache to do this every year and all she thought of was how incredible it would be to become a part of this group. Then her wheels started rolling, if we could move there, how would we decorate the house? What could we do that hasn’t been done and even stand out above the others? Luckily for me, and unfortunately for her, home prices in El Segundo just continue to skyrocket out of control and that house was way out of our price range and yet still sold quickly… whew.

One of the two homes always playing Christmas classic movies, which Mr. & Mrs. Claus seem to enjoy.

It’s probably for the best, as these homeowners surely know what they’re doing. It’s more than just stringing up a set of lights here and there. When I mentioned how each has its own theme and many have their own favorites, we feel the same. My all-time favorite has since changed. One of the houses had an immense, large vintage train set on the front lawn. But the year before last they had a for-sale sign on the trains and now they changed their theme. Luckily another house carries on with the tradition with trains, though not as big.

The North Pole Airport is always one of the most popular spots for people to stop at and take pics.

Sorry, little Sheldon Cooper, but at least the North Pole Airport is still there, Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Snoopy & the Red Baron, Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd, to the Nativity scene and Peace On Earth.

You can’t celebrate Christmas without The Griswold’s. This takes me back to going to El Segundo High School in the 80’s.

My new favorite, as one house updated theirs with a Christmas Vacation theme, so the 80’s lover in me, kind of loves that one now. Need to stop for a moment, there are even a couple of houses that show classic Christmas movies on their front lawns, including Santa’s Theatre. All and all, it’s just special to be able to walk up and down the street taking every house in.

Tonight’s feature at Santa’s Theatre… Rudolph. You never know which classic will be playing, so might want to stop by another night this next season.

One last note, remember the Christmas and Holiday spirit if you come. Most importantly, respect the property of not only the homeowners on Candy Cane Lane but those on the surrounding streets. The past few years there have been numerous complaints of people arguing over parking spots, parking in front of fire hydrants, blocking driveways, dumping trash wherever, stomping across lawns, and even thinking it’s ok to use the El Segundo community for public restrooms. Let’s all be thankful for Candy Cane Lane, those that put it together, make it beautiful, maintain it and keep it safe for us to enjoy each and every year.

Sending out a little Peace On Earth and Goodwill To Man.

I first moved to El Segundo back in 1979, for over 40 years now Candy Cane Lane has been a part of my life, and I was heartbroken it was canceled last year. When young, I enjoyed it with my Mom and friends, through the years with new friends and family and now it’s a yearly special tradition for my wife and me. So, I can’t express just how happy I am it is back.

I knew I made Santa’s Nice List when he stopped for a quick picture a few years ago on his way back to the North Pole to finish up some presents for all the other Nice boys & girls.

You have plenty of time to plan your schedule, pick a night with friends & family, don your Christmas sweaters, scarves & hats, and get your requests for Santa Claus in order. This year I hope Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo becomes a magical tradition for you and your family if it hasn’t already.

Sometimes just the theme of lighting up all over is theme enough.


1200 East Acacia Avenue

El Segundo, CA 90245

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2 Responses to CANDY CANE LANE is back in 2021 – El Segundo, CA

  1. N. Jacobson says:

    Just FYI. Candy Cane Lane has not actually happened for 70 years. It was discontinued in 1974, due to the energy crisis, and not started again until sometime after 1983. We owned a home in that block during those years, so I know this is factual.

  2. rick says:

    with the rain can you still drive down any cane lane?? and the last night of it is Dec 24th??

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