Holiday lights shine bright in Santa Clarita

Thousands make the trip through Wakefield Court each year, which has a celebrated tradition as the Santa Clarita Valley’s “Candy Cane Lane,” a neighborhood where almost every home is absolutely covered in Christmas cheer. This year, in a modified display, Wakefield Court residents encourage people to drive through and see the decorated homes. SIGNAL PHOTO

No place celebrates the holiday season like the Santa Clarita Valley, whether it’s the recent Light Up Main Street event, or renowned Wakefield Winter Wonderland in Saugus, which is really the SCV’s “Candy Cane Lane” — an area where the neighbors have come together to go all out with Christmas lights, lawn decorations and more.

The latter option is well-known to locals and also previously uses the crowds each year to help support those less fortunate with a holiday drive. 

This year, just like every place else, the homeowners are doing their best to spread their Christmas cheer, but they’ve also modified the experience, and they’re asking visitors to do the same.

This year, there may be slight changes to how many homes are decorated, as some folks are taking precautions to try and not draw as many individuals from throughout the community into their neighborhood.

Many have also posted signs asking anyone visiting or walking through on foot to please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines.

Wakefield Winter Wonderland

Due to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department’s latest protocols to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the neighborhood’s Facebook page for Wakefield Winter Wonderland offers a caution for visitors, and a request:

“The community decorations (Candy canes, Wakefield sign, story board, light post decor, etc.) will not be used and some houses will be dark and not participating like in years past,” according to a pinned post from Nov. 9.

During the holiday season, places throughout the Santa Clarita Valley are decorated with Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations. In 2018, there were 41 houses on Wakefield Court participating in the decorations — that number is less this year, but you can still visit the holiday cheer. 

In years past, the line going into the street has spanned all the way down to Copper Hill Drive, but with the protocols in place, the neighborhood is asking for those who would like to visit to do so by driving through, as opposed to on foot. The most active hours are about 6-9 p.m.

“If anyone does walk through, PLEASE follow LA County health guidelines: Wear a mask and keep 6 feet apart,” according to the Facebook post.

Holiday Lights Tour 

Traditionally, Santa Clarita Transit offers a Holiday Lights Tour in the various decorated neighborhoods in the SCV.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the city of Santa Clarita Transit system is not hosting its tour this year, which usually stops at: Homestead Place (just east of Wakefield Court), Clearidge Drive, Littleton Way, Royal Oaks Road and Canterwood Drive, just to name a few. It’s always possible to drive by these neighborhoods on your own, but it’s also a good idea to stay in the car this year if possible. 

Westfield Valencia Town Center 

Sits with Santa, virtual scavenger hunts and more are planned this holiday season at Westfield Valencia Town Center, which is always fully decorated with holiday cheer throughout the mall.

“Westfield Valencia Town Center looks forward to bringing back a reimagined festive experience that allows you and your families to safely shop, dine, and play this holiday season,” said Maral Matossian, general manager of Westfield Valencia Town Center.

While you’re checking out the holiday lights, you can also check out the Westfield Holiday Hunt, an immersive, augmented reality scavenger hunt that brings the magic of the holidays to life using CGI technology.

Guests will discover unique QR codes displayed throughout each center. When scanned, they will unlock exclusive, original characters and artwork such as a snowman concierge that welcomes and guides you on your hunt; a flying Santa sleigh; and customizable winter wonderland photo backgrounds.

A visit with Santa also is a part of the holiday experience for so many people and this year, and Westfield Valencia Town Center partnered with Cherry Hill Programs to bring Santa to the mall. The program was created to allow families to enjoy the Santa experience while staying safe. 

Downtown Newhall 

Every year, the city of Santa Clarita goes all out to decorate Downtown Newhall, another annual city tradition that brings joy to thousands.

The Light Up Main Street event has been a sort of holiday kickoff locally for the last few years, centering around a ceremony on Main Street. All the way down the street, lights line the street along with occasional holiday arches with messages to help ring in the holiday season. 

While again, most residents weren’t able to take part in the event due to COVID-19, the city put together a livestream that people can watch and, of course, the city still decorated Newhall with all of the holiday cheer it could spare.

To check out the virtual flip of the switch, visit:

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 in the past, have offered interesting, interactive elements to those who come to visit. 

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