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Turlock beacon of holiday lights
Festive displays include popular overhead train
A map showing Turlocks hot spots for holiday lights. - photo by JAIME RAMIREZ/209 graphic

While hanging lights during the holiday season is an annual tradition for many families, it is often met with mixed feelings: Children love seeing the various lights while parents often find the task a dreaded duty.

Despite the usual holiday hesitance, the Turlock community has consistently provided locals a luminous holiday seasons filled with Christmas lights on houses in two neighborhoods: Christmas Tree Lane and Oxford Court. These two neighbords have woven their iconic Christmas lights and decorations into the town’s holiday fabric, with many families making trips to the glowing neighborhoods an annual tradition.

Christmas Tree Lane, an established source of reliable holiday glow for several years, is located on Michael Way and Wellerman Way in Turlock. Residents often inherit lights from previous owners and many families look forward to driving or walking by their favorite home each year. From snowmen families to angels and peppermint lollipops, Christmas Tree Lane does not disappoint the young at heart. Rosemary Salinas has lived on the corner of Christmas tree lane for five years and has brought her own unique vision to the street by using lights from the previous owner as well as adding her own reindeer and a multitude of white lights.

“I really like living on Christmas tree lane. It is wonderful to see all of the children come by and take photos and have fun,” said Salinas, who also enjoys the carolers that come by as well as the annual fire department Santa Clause drive through the neighborhood.

Not too far from Christmas Tree Lane, Oxford Court has created a holiday stir for more than 20 years with its annual Christmas train. Suspended on an elevated train track structure that circles the court, the machine operated train travels by each of the houses that glow with lights and Christmas signs. Originally handmade by two neighbors who have since moved, the Oxford Court community has remained a consistent group over the years with the new comers happily joining in on the fun.

“It really is a neighborhood train, it belongs to everybody,” said Michelle Jaggers, a long time Oxford Court resident.

The Oxford Court crew has since expanded their efforts by using the traffic through the court to encourage donations to Turlock Together, a conglomerate of churches and businesses that collects donations for local families in need during the holidays. Oxford Court has signature Turlock Together blue barrel s at the end of the court where visitors can drop off donations. There is also an Angel Tree, a small lighted Christmas tree with ornaments that list children’s age and genders. Visitors can select an ornament and purchase a gift for that child in need which they can bring back to the blue barrels on Oxford Court.

“Many kids love to come and see the lights more than once so it is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community while seeing the Christmas train,” said Jaggers.

The Christmas Train at Oxford Street runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 7 days a week through Dec. 25.