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Christmas Tree Lane ignites holiday season

In order to further the holiday spirit, the Fig Garden Homeowners Association presents the 89th annual Christmas Tree Lane, Dec. 3-25.

Christmas Tree Lane spans nearly two miles, which is about 140 homes and 300 trees decorated in twinkling lights and various Christmas displays.

Christmas Tree Lane began in 1920 with the decoration of a single tree in the memory of a child who had died. Since then, every year the lane has been on except in 1941 due to wartime restrictions and in 1973 during an energy crisis.

Over the years, Christmas Tree Lane has gained national recognition by being featured in the Washington Post and has been deemed the nation’s longest-running holiday event. Every year the lane attracts more than 100,000 people who come to see the millions of lights throughout the neighborhood.

Senior Raine Hayes lives at the beginning of the lane, which she considers to be both a joy and a nuisance.

“I really like Christmas Tree Lane because I really like Christmas,” Hayes said. “Christmas is just all around you so it’s a big buildup to the holiday. It is really cool living on the lane because I get to go down it and see the lights whenever I want since it’s not out of my way, but at the same time sometimes it takes forever to get in and out of my driveway.”

Christmas Tree Lane covers the length of Van Ness Boulevard from Shields to Shaw avenues. The lane is open Sun.-Thurs., 6 p.m.-10 p.m and Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-11 p.m. During these times, traffic is northbound except during walk nights, Dec. 3 and Dec. 13.

Hayes encourages students to participate on Christmas Tree Lane’s walk night because she considers the experience a fun outing with friends.

“It is really fun to go on a walk night because you get to walk down the lane,” Hayes said. “It’s also really fun to walk down to Whole Foods and get a bottle of apple cider and share it with your friends and then walk back. Christmas Tree Lane is just a great time to hang out with friends, and our school has a giant Christmas art board on the lane and it’s just cool to see our school.”

During walk nights, all through traffic is blocked off on Van Ness between Shields and Shaw from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The lane is a free public event, but the homeowners association appreciates donations which helps to fund the lane: a non-profit project.

For those who are unable to visit Christmas Tree Lane, Candy Cane Lane is hosted within two miles of FC, Dec. 1-25. Entrances are located just east of Willow, at the corner of Alluvial/Cindy, and Peach, just north of Alluvial.

For more information about Christmas Tree Lane, read the Dec. 6, 2010 article, Long-running Christmas traditions return.

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