Popular light show returns to Candy Cane Lane

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Popular light show returns  to Candy Cane LaneThe Czajka family Christmas display features an added patriotic theme incorporated to the annual holiday fare — Photo by Laura Austin

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A perennial favorite of local Christmas-light lovers returns this year for visitors to Candy Cane Lane (otherwise known as “Ginger Avenue.”)

Residents on the street have long collaborated by lining the cul de sac with giant, brightly lit candy canes, along with some very elaborately decorated homes. When Ed Czajka and his family moved in, they upped the ante by adding a choreographed light show, featuring props with thousands of LEDs programmed to synchronize with the music piped short range on 97.3 FM.

Each year, Czajka adds some new element or effect (from wristbands that pull the audience into the show to the appearance of falling snow). This year, he rebuilt the giant candy cane to incorporate the changing colors and patterns to sync with the singing Christmas trees, LED screen and other props in the light show.

For those who caught his show at the Maturango Museum earlier this month, they will also notice a change of songs — Including “Light of Christmas” by Owl City and “Christmas with a Capital C” by Go Fish — for the Candy Cane Lane medley.

“I have to stay religiously neutral in the [museum] environment,” noted Czajka. “When it’s at my house, I can say ‘Merry Christmas,’ so some of these are ones I’ve been wanting to do for a while.”

“I also wanted to give tribute to the armed forces that help defend this great land and allow us the freedom to express ourselves,” he added. So the display will also include “Armed Forces Medley” by American Patriots and “Dueling Jingle Bells” by the U.S. Navy Band. “I might add a few more songs after Christmas, but I have to keep the list short for now to keep the traffic down.”

The show also represents a huge time commitment, with about four hours of labor required for one minute of the show. That doesn’t count prop-building and maintenance, he said.

During the holidays, one or two cars are parked at the show at any given time, with traffic peaking on Christmas Eve. “One year I was handing out candy canes to every car, but that backed the traffic up pretty bad.”

The feedback from his appreciative audience is always very positive. He also offered a few tips that will increase the enjoyment of everyone.

“If you are visiting my show, or any other shows in the area, please remember to keep the volume to a reasonable level and do not block driveways. Dim your lights, if possible. But most of all — enjoy the show!

“Many of us light-show enthusiasts do it because we enjoy being a little different while making people happy. The great P.T. Barnum said, ‘The noblest art is that of making others happy.’”

The show will operate from 5-10 p.m. each night through the New Year.

Story First Published: 2018-12-21