ST. LOUIS – As Christmas approaches, residents of Murdock Avenue, Prague Ave, and Neosho St., in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood are gearing up for their annual light displays, drawing in cars bumper to bumper.
Currently, three streets—the original Candy Cane Lane, Snowflake Street, and Angel Avenue—are all located in the St. Louis Hill neighborhood. The events are free, but donations—which will be used for charities—are encouraged.
One of the original residents of Murdock Avenue initiated Candy Cane Lane about 18 years ago. According to Bob Klasek, one of his neighbors wrapped a tree in lights, and the following year, more trees were adorned with Christmas lights until all the trees down Murdock Avenue were decorated.
Angel Avenue is situated between Murdoch and Nottingham at the back of the 4700 block of Prague Ave. in St. Louis Hills. Russ Smith, one of the Angel Avenue organizers, mentioned that even though Angel Avenue is smaller, the entire block works together to decorate each house.
“One of our houses has a display of 20,000 LED lights that are synchronized to music and broadcast on a low-power FM channel,” said Smith. “We like to have our displays up by the Sunday after Thanksgiving and usually run through the first week of January.”
Smith mentioned that Angel Avenue started about 15 years ago, if not longer.
“We hand out free candy canes every weekend, around 1500–2000 a year, and only collect donations at a freestanding donation box,” said Smith. One night during Christmas, we all gather for community and to collect for a chosen charity.”
Tom Scheifler, one of the organizers for Snowflake Street, said that their street started about 12 years ago.
“Prior to that, many residents decorated our block, but without houses on the north side, it seemed less festive than other blocks,” said Scheifler. “Our neighbor, Beth Sharpe, decided to add snowflake lighting to the fence. We also added a red rope light running along the top rail. After a second year like that, we added more lights and purchased technology to synchronize the lighting to music and broadcast the music. Over the years, we have varied the lighting and music.”
Scheifler mentioned that three years ago, they added synchronized lights to the east half of the block.
“It was an impressive display for a single neighborhood block. Unfortunately, that lasted only two years because most of the trees we needed to string the lighting were removed. In that area, we now display larger inflatables,” he said.
It is free to drive or walk the block. On busy nights, they make it one-way traffic for vehicles (east to west).
The St. Louis Hills neighborhood encourages folks to park nearby and walk Snowflake Street, Candy Cane Lane, and Angel Avenue.
In South City, this heartwarming tradition continues to thrive, spreading joy and goodwill to all who visit Candy Cane Lane.