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Ceres Christmas Tree Lane: 52-year tradition of lights
Ceres lights pic1
Thousands of visitors stream through Christmas Tree Lane in Ceres during each December. The lane is on Henry Avenue and Vaughn Street - photo by 209 file photo

Every year since 1961, Henry and Vaughn streets in Ceres have been transformed into a holiday wonderland.  This year, Christmas Tree Lane was celebrated with a little something extra — snow.

Two truckloads of snow from Groveland were brought in for the Ceres Christmas Festival in Smyrna Park on Dec. 7. It was a holiday idea pulled off by tenants Brent, Lucas and Derrick Avila, Abraham Navarro and Michael Guzenhauser.

“We keep hearing kids say they never saw snow before,” said Brent Avila, who was policing the throwing of snowballs from his yard. His friend, Josh Loveland, agreed saying, “I heard it at least 10 times and it’s only been a half-hour.”

Ronda Howser, who has been renting a home on Henry for eight years, said she enjoys participating in Christmas Tree Lane.

“I love it,” said Howser. “The first few years it’s kind of a hassle until you get to kind of get to know the culture of it and everything.”

Last year Howser experienced a rash of acts of vandalism and thefts off the front porch.

“I think the biggest misconception to people is that we get a discount in our TID bills because I do not. I wish I did. My electric bill does go up a little bit during these months but to me it’s worth it.”

Besides lighting up her roof and yard, Howser likes to put hot cocoa or cider out for visitors and collect canned food items from the public.