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Christmas tradition back
Opens Friday at county fairgrounds
Candy Cane Lane and the North Pole will open this weekend at the Glenn County Fairgrounds.
The ninth annual Avenue of Lights kicks off Friday and runs two full weekends.
Sponsored by the Orland Historical & Cultural Society, dozens of volunteers have been working non-stop the past week to set up hundreds of decorated Christmas trees and displays, which are expected to attract more than 3,000 vehicles along a meandering 1-mile route.
"It's the largest light display north of Sacramento," said Olga Peterson, event chairwoman.
Numerous groups and individuals are participating, she said, putting up displays of lighted Christmas trees and decorations that should spark wonder in the eyes of youngsters and dazzle the masses.
In addition to the trees, there are dozens of major scenes, she said.
The event offers sparkling scenery as cars drive through the Glenn County Fairgrounds to see reindeer, Santa and a myriad of other characters come to life.
Admission is $10 a car and the tour ends at the North Pole Lodge where visitors can view a variety of decorated Christmas trees, and other displays designed to enchant visitors of all ages.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the North Pole for high quality pictures for $5, she said, and refreshments will be for sale by local nonprofit organizations.
Peterson said because Santa pictures have become the second biggest draw to the event, the Historic Society has given customers more comfortable access to the jolly old icon this year.
The route to Santa Claus in the Art and Crafts building will be lined with benches so the public will have an opportunity to sit down, she said.
Among some of the featured tress are the M&M tree, the Remembrance tree, and those designed by business and nonprofit groups like 4-H, and schools, including Willows' Murdock Elementary and Orland's CK Price.
This year's focal tree and display from the Orland Historical Society includes Ed Fairlee's replica of a 1932 Ford police car, which rumor has was build to out run moonshiners, Peterson said.
"I am told even in the hills of Orland," she said.
The display also feature a replica of the 55 Chevrolet Bel Air.
The small version of the famous vehicles were borrowed for the display from R&R Motors.
Peterson said many of the decorations along the Avenue of Lights have been salvaged or donated by individuals over the years, including the historic trees that once belonged to the city and adorned the downtown at Christmastime.
"We are an historical society, so it is important that history be reflected in the event as well," she said.
Although many new features to the event have been added, including opportunity for a last minute restroom break before leaving the event, the most important change this year is entry to the Glenn County Fairgrounds.
Access to the Avenue of Lights will only be from Woodward Avenue off Walker Street (Highway 32).
Yolo Avenue will be closed at Walnut Street, east of the fairgrounds' main entrance, and at Papst Avenue, which is west of the entrance.
Peterson said the change was made this year to make the flow of traffic run more smoothly and reduce the waiting time for vehicles to enter the event.
Visitors from all over Glenn, Colusa, Butte and Tehama counties are expected to drive through the Avenue of Lights during the six evenings the event is open.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com. Reporter Rick Longley contributed to this report.