Nuria Samaranayake drags an inflatable Snoopy towards the side of her front yard. She has lived on Minerva Road better known as “Candy Cane Lane” in Cathedral City for over 20 years. The family moved to this neighborhood because Samaranayake’s kids loved the holiday decorations.
“They saw how beautiful the street was, and they said mom, we want to live here!,” Samaranayake said.
For over 30 years, residents in this neighborhood have put up their best lights and ornaments out of their own pockets to bring holiday joy to their community. Dawn Ewart and her husband were one of the pioneers of this holiday tradition.
“It was a way to bring neighbors together, and it’s just grown exponentially since then,” Ewart said.
Ewart said the giant candy canes in the front lawn of these houses were made 25 years ago by residents, and the canes became a welcome token for new neighbors. Seeing the lights covering up all these homes brings many memories to Ewart and her family. Plus, they are always trying to decorate as best as they can.
“I made life size wise men, and my husband built a manger, and we had the wise men riding quads towards baby Jesus,” Ewart recalled.
John Elliot lives right across from Ewart and is proud to be one of the first residents to decorate in this area.
“To listen to the kids go “ooh” and “aw” and really go crazy as they’re walking up and down the street, it’s a wonderful feeling,” Elliot said.
Since there is no committee, each neighbor can decorate their home however they want. This year, Elliot decided to include unicorns to surprise his 7-year-old granddaughter.
“We always try to keep like a Disney theme or a fantasy theme,” Elliot said. “We’ve had live characters in the past.”
Neighbors said Candy Cane Lane should be up and running by December 10, 2018.
“I would tell them to walk the street. It’s more fun, take your time, enjoy it, let the kids look at the lights, let the seniors, just have a good time,” Elliot said.
Candy Cane Lane will be decorated until January. Neighbors are asking visitors to stay behind the fences and to be careful with the decorations since many of them are fragile.