PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — A holiday tradition marks another year in the metro. Candy Cane Lane organizers said Saturday the event is still going strong as they prepared for the candy cane giveaway on the first night.
Organizer Linda Braly said they had to get a special permit from the city to do this, but getting it done is down to a science because it has been a tradition for the neighborhood for more than 50 years.
Candy Cane Lane is in the Outlook Lane cul-de-sac off 79th Street.
There’s no Santa, but there are what you can call elves, or neighbors if you’d prefer, and a so-called mayor, that all help transform this block for several weeks in the winter, up until the first week of January.
The neighbors take a regular front lawn and add some sled dogs and a polar bear. They put the final touches on a mardi gras style candy shop and circle red ribbon around what would be just a plain post.
“It takes time and we have probably 64, 60 hours of time built into this event,” said Roger Caldwell, Candy Cane Lane’s mayor.
The centerpiece of Candy Cane Lane used to be a 15-foot tree, but that tree has grown into a 60-footer.
Braly said all 14 families contribute in their own way to make this happen.
“The neighborhood continues to thrive. We have some old displays and some newer displays but we try and keep a mix of old and new,” Braly said.
Mayor Caldwell said if you move away from Candy Cane Lane, some decorations stay with the home. He said that’s so they can keep the tradition going for future visitors and for the kids who grew up on this very street.
“It was always fun because we had a bunch of kids on the block,” said Stella Braly, 13. “We don’t now because they’ve all kind of grown up, but we’d always just kind of mess around and have some fun while putting up decorations.”
Braly said visitors always ask about a home without much decorations on the street. She said they wonder if that’s where the Grinch lives. But she said it’s been a vacant home for about four years now.
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