TORRANCE — It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays in the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood of Torrance. For over 40 years, homeowners in the area have been using their homes as canvases for holiday lights and decorations that draw in 100s of people each year for what some refer to as "Candy Cane Lane" and the "Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights."
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“When you come into the neighborhood after a day’s work and it’s all lit up, and it’s bright, and there’s people on the streets enjoying the lights. It just revives the day,” Wade Downey said.
Downey has kept this family tradition shining bright for the last 15 years. His two kids are now in college, but they spend the holiday break bonding and setting up the home’s latest decorations together.
“We don’t see them as much with them being at school so it’s wonderful to spend some time and I’ll take the help,” Downey said.
Between the "Happy Holidays" sign, a Christmas tree made of holiday lights, and lights around the exterior of the home, it can take Downey and his family about 15 hours to get everything in place. Downey’s son, Jacob said it’s a daunting task at first, but he loves to see how everyone enjoys their work.
“You see people taking pictures in your front lawn or just scrolling through Instagram or on Facebook and you see a lot of pictures of your friends taking their family photos like in front of your house. It’s pretty awesome,” Jacob Downey said.
After the sun goes down and Downey makes a few final touches, the light display creates a festive atmosphere Downey’s family is happy to share with the neighborhood.
“It was basically all my dad’s ideas. Over the next couple of years, hopefully, I’ll come up with some of my own. But for now, it’s all him,” Jacob Downey said.
While the lights and signs are displayed early, Downey admits, he’s never really quite done.
“I’ll put up a couple more strings here and there and fill in a couple of other spots. Yeah, always tinkering. Adding a couple more lights, making sure they are all on,” Downey said.
As the lights begin to shine bright in the night sky, it’ll soon be time for his kids to head back to college. But they’re comforted to take part in a family tradition that will help brighten the holidays for those who drive or walk by their neighborhood.
The Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights will be on display each day until Jan. 1. from about 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.