CROWN POINT — In 1958, the first group of homeowners on Holton Ridge Court decorated their cul-de-sac with painted white bamboo candy canes decorated with red reflective tape and ribbon.
Sixty years later the tradition continues on the street widely known as Candy Cane Lane. Neighbors still work together to create the perfect holiday scene reminiscent of Christmases past.
“My first memory of Candy Cane Lane is all the bamboo canes in our basement,” said Scott Fulk, who lives in the family home with his 98-year-old mother, Betty. “They spray painted the canes white and then put red reflective tape around them. There were hundreds of them hanging in our basement rafters.”
When the candy canes were ready, neighbors put them along the U-shaped cul-de-sac about 2 feet apart, stringing them together with red ribbon, Fulk said. He and his mom are the only original residents remaining on Candy Cane Lane.
“The cars would come in and the headlights would hit the red reflective tape and all the candy canes would glow,” Fulk said. “It was exciting seeing the people come. Back then people walked around the street and we had a lot of carolers. In the old days, when I was a kid, people didn’t decorate like they do now. It was very simple. So our street really stood out.”
Over the years, residents added matching lampposts made from pickle jars, Christmas trees decorated by the individual homeowners, a Nativity scene with a star added in the '70s, a “Happy Birthday Jesus” sign and a leg lamp. For a while, there was music, Fulk said.
Donna Selvaggi moved to Holton Ridge in the summer of 1958 with her parents and brother.
“The first year how excited we all were when they decorated outside,” Selvaggi said. “One thing they would always do is one of the neighbors would have everybody over for a decorating party in their home with doughnuts. They all worked together and my mom and dad, Annette and Frank Selvaggi, really got into that.
"The neighbors are very friendly and all help each other, which they did for me this year.”
Selvaggi said one former neighbor was butcher Willard Hoshaw.
“He designed the lampposts,” Selvaggi said. “I have an original. If anybody moves, they are to leave the original jar in their garage.”
Selvaggi said she gets a thrill each time she drives down her block during the holidays.
“It is like Fairyland,” Selvaggi said.
New this year are three 6-foot-tall wooden candy canes that Paul Bremer, a 40-year-Holton Ridge resident, obtained from the now closed Luers Christmas tree farm. City workers installed the candy canes, which had graced utility poles on 93rd Avenue outside Luers’ entrance.
“John Luers called me and said, ‘We are not going to be open this year and you can have them,’” Bremer said.
The current Nativity scene figures were donated by Franciscan St. Anthony Health. Neighbors carefully repainted the figures, Selvaggi said.
Bremer welcomes new residents by giving them the lowdown on Christmas decorating.
“(Bremer) describes what we do and hopefully they buy into it,” Fulk said. “Now everybody, especially the younger families, are really excited to decorate and they go all out.”
Fulk said his mother has a special music box given to her as a gift.
“The setting is a little town which lights up and it plays the song ‘Welcome to Candy Cane Lane,’” Fulk said. “We put it out every year. If somebody asks where we live in Crown Point, if we say, 'Holton Ridge,' no one knows where we mean. If we say, 'Candy Cane Lane,' they immediately know. It is a Crown Point institution.”