|Grant Place, Urbana|
A visit to Candlestick Lane has become an Urbana Christmas tradition. In the 1960’s neighbors along the one block of Grant Place, between Fairlawn and Eastern Drive, started decorating their homes for Christmas as a group. After winning a decorating contest sponsored by the Illinois Power Company, they used the prize money to purchase candlestick decorations for each home. The only remaining original candle decoration can be seen at 1201 Grant Place. Candlestick Lane celebrated its 50th year in 2013. Today, this custom of festive decorating extends past the one block to over 50 homes in the neighborhood.
Every Christmas season, there is a lighting ceremony where torchbearers “light” each display along the block. The ceremony features a Grand Marshal, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, and winter characters like Frosty the Snowman. Visitors can walk along the block to experience the festivities or drive down the street with their headlights turned off.
This is a FREE yearly event. Look for more detailed information about the lighting ceremony and traffic tips in the local news closer to the holiday season. Generally, the decorations in the neighborhood are lit from the middle of December to New Year’s Day each year. An exact schedule for the light displays should be announced closer to the holidays.
Please share any photographs or video of your experiences on Candlestick Lane by posting to this page!