For 11 months out of the year, Van Ness Avenue is known as one of the most sought after street names to live on. This month, its name is actually forgotten and is known instead as ‘Christmas Tree Lane’.
With the exception of the years 1941 and 1973 (wartime restrictions and energy crisis), this year will be the 89th year in a row that Van Ness Boulevard between Shields Ave and Shaw Ave has been decorated from home to home (some 140+ of them) and tree to tree with millions of lights, tensile, bulbs, and elaborate wood holiday cut-outs.
Whether you are driving the lane or walking the street (there are no sidewalks) under the hundreds of oak and pine you will immediately notice upon entry that you have entered a neighborhood very different than others in Fresno. Unlike the housing developments we see popping up in a few months, this neighborhood took decades to develop. The lots are large, the landscaping lush, and the homes a random a combination of bungalows, period revival, adobe, and ranch. Many of them with basements, libraries, and even the occasional hidden passage!
Christmas Tree Lane began with the decoration of a single tree in the memory of a child that had passed away in 1920 and continues now as a grass-root tradition that provides a budget friendly Christmas event for the over 100,000 that visit it each year. Christmas Tree Lane is such a FresYes experience that people will wait over two hours on busy nights and even get soaked in the rain to experience the magic of ‘the walk’. One of my families favorite things to do while enjoying the lights and music of the night is to try to spot the 8 hidden reindeer! So come out and enjoy the splendor of this historic Fresno tradition with your family and friends this holiday season.