During the holiday season, places throughout the Santa Clarita Valley are decorated in holiday lights, attracting crowds from all over the county to experience the city’s festivity first-hand.
Holiday lights are a staple piece of the holiday season nationwide; however, there are spots in SCV that provide a twist to the traditional lights along with impressive presentations. Each year as the light displays become more intricate and interactive, bigger crowds are brought out.
Winter Wonderland: Wakefield Court in Saugus
Every holiday season, thousands of people pass through Wakefield Court to view its award-winning lights. As of 2018, there were 41 houses on Wakefield Court who participated in the holiday by decorating their homes.
“Coming to ‘Winter Wonderland’ has become a tradition for my friends and I,” said Bellet Sarhad, of Canyon Country. “We take a photo in front of the same tree every year, and we’ve done so for the past five years.” One year, Sarhad recalls seeing A.J. McLean, from the boy band Backstreet Boys.
The consensus on social media seems to be that the most effective way to see the street is by walking through it. This method avoids car traffic and allows you to go through the neighborhood at your own speed. In years past, the line going into the street has spanned all the way down to Copper Hill Drive. It’s open from 5:30-10:30 p.m.
Holiday Lights Tour
Each year, Santa Clarita Transit offers a Holiday Lights Tour in the various decorated neighborhoods in the SCV.
The route is being worked out, but neighborhoods that are usually stops include: Homestead Place (just east of Wakefield Court), Clearidge Drive, Littleton Way, Royal Oaks Road and Canterwood Drive, said Alex Porlier, administrative analyst for the city of Santa Clarita.
“We don’t go down Wakefield Court, because we couldn’t safely maneuver our vehicles through it because of the traffic,” said Porlier. “It is a safety concern.”
Trolleys and Dial-A-Ride vehicles depart from the designated station every 30 minutes, for 45-minute tours around the different neighborhoods. Trolley fares are $3 or free with a donation of canned food. In the following weeks, Santa Clarita Transit will release more information regarding the tours, and other details.
Westfield Valencia Town Center
Similarly to past years, Westfield Valencia Town Center decorates its shopping mall to celebrate the holiday season. As shoppers are starting and finishing their holiday shopping at the mall, they are surrounded by festive ambiance in the form of large ornaments hanging from the ceiling, an impressive Christmas tree in the center of the mall and light arrangements throughout the patios.
“Westfield Valencia Town Center has a strong tradition of our customers and community visiting our center to experience and enjoy the holiday ambiance with family and friends,” said Corrine Barchanowicz, senior shopping center manager at Westfield Valencia Town Center. “Westfield Valencia Town Center serves as a modern-day town square for Santa Clarita.”
Each year, Westfield decorates its center to create new experiences for families to enjoy together. The goal is to make the family-friendly atmosphere a place to create traditions that can be shared across generations, Barchanowicz said.
Every November, the city of Santa Clarita turns on the holiday cheer on Main Street with its annual Light Up Main Street event. The lights are up for the community to enjoy all through December. All the way down the street, lights line the street along with occasional holiday arches with messages to help ring in the holiday season.
Main Street is famous for its strip of tasty and local restaurants. After supporting and eating locally, any night can conclude with a stroll down the decorated street. Most weekends, Main Street is very lively, especially at night, so the lights add an additional element of festivity to the street. Couples, families and everyone else can bask in the holiday spirit without having to wait in lines or deal with excessive crowds.
Philbrook Avenue in Valencia
An additional decorated street to see this holiday season is Philbrook Avenue, a more mellow alternative to the Wakefield Court. On the street, not all the houses are decorated but there are homes that offer interesting, interactive elements to those who come to visit.
In the past, a home displayed “Christmas Light Hero,” an attraction that lets visitors play the video game “Guitar Hero” on the family’s garage door. Also, another home does a radio show where visitors in their car can turn to a specific radio station and their home’s light show with coincide with the music on the radio. It’s a way to experience the magic of the light show without having to step out of your warm car.
“Growing up in the Valencia area, I always went to Philbrook Avenue,” said Michael Valenzuela, Valencia resident. “Around the holidays, it was something we would go see because the residents do a great job spreading holiday cheer.”