As Christmas approaches, twinkle lights are slowly coming out.
If you live close to Orangevale, I suggest that you come by Dovewood Court off of Walnut Ave (it’s South of Greenback and North of Madison.)
The holiday lights are installed by all the neighbors on that street. It is a requirement in case you wanted to purchase a home there (the people who live there don’t move often, though.) A quite special Home Owner Association (HOA) rule—there are more places in the US where Christmas Lights are actually not allowed, believe it or not!
Each neighbor has its own special thing. Puppets in small boxes, large Santa, wheels made of lights, deer and bears, planes and houses, the Grinch, nativity scenes, castles, the gingerbread man, licorice. It’s just like in a Christmas movies.
A must see for kids and adults alike.
There is a video of the Christmas Lights in Orangevale of 2017. The times and dates for 2017 were: Dec 3 till Dec 26 from 5pm till 10pm.
In general, the rule is that they open on or after the first Sunday of the month of December and they close on the 25th or 26th. For sure, go before the 25th to not miss that absolutely resplendent display of lights, musics, and cheers.
Each time I go there, there are many children and adults who stand in awe in front of these magnificent displays of light!
There is a Google Map for directions:
Note that I strongly suggest that you walk on Dovewood Court. You will better see the Christmas Light delights and it will make it safer. Also cars that drive through are very very very slow. At times, small buses come by too and really it’s a narrow cul de sac…
During the week, you should be able to find parking space along Walnut. Please avoid parking on the Christ the King Lutheran Church or The Orangevale Grange parking lots. These may be used by those private businesses.
On the weekend, you may want to look at parking on Walnut, Pershing, Twin Lakes, South of Madison and walk to Dovewood Court. It’s a quick walk (I know, I live around there!) and the crossing of Madison and Pershing are protected by street lights. So it is easy enough. Still, pretty please, always watch out before crossing high speed roads (Madison has a speed limit of 50.)
There are many businesses by Pershing & Madison (South side) that are service based (insurance, CPA, dentists, mortgage companies) and their parking lots are likely going to be empty at night. Those are still private parking lots, though. Park at your own risk.
Dovewood Court Christmas Lights Photos
Here are a few pictures of the Dovewood Court Christmas Lights. Note that it is easier to look at them on a computer with a larger screen than a smartphone. Desktop , Laptop, Tablet… will give you a better view.
Feel free to share the pictures. Right click on the thumbnails you are interested in and then select the option Copy Link Location or Copy Link Address. Then you can paste that link in your image tag. We do not require that you write anything about the source, although if you want to do that, you can mention that Alexis Wilke took those pictures in Dec 12, 2017 and put a link back to this page. Again, this is not mandatory. Enjoy.
The History of Christmas Lights
The Christmas Tree tradition started in upper-class homes of 18th century Germany. At the time, it was occasionally decorated using candles. People would stick the candles on the tree using the candle wax or pins. Candles were still very expensive at the time so only the upper-class could afford it.
The first Christmas Lights were introduced to the United Kingdom in 1832 (Queen Victoria’s reign). As many were still emigrating to the US and Australia, the tradition spread at the same time.
In the 1880s, we started electrification and some stores would offer electric Christmas Lights. However, many resisted for it was over 100 years of candle lights tradition that had to be changed. When electric Christmas Lights were introduced in the U.K., they were first called Fairy Lights.
In 1881, the Savoy Theater was the first to be entirely light by electricity. It received 1,200 Swan incandescent lamps. The following year, it also had a tree light with Fairy Lights.
It is only around 1890 that we started seeing candleholders specifically built for Christmas trees. Early in the 20th century (between 1902 and 1914), small lanterns were used, making the candles much safer. It is around that time that glass balls started appearing. These were very fragile (We had some when I was a child, you can’t let them fall or hit each others or their break.)
The first known electrically illuminated Christmas Tree was created by Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison (these guys invented so many thing! the first Electric Smoke Alarm was invented by another Thomas Edison associate.) Edward had special light bulbs made for him. There were 80 lights in all, some red, some blue, and some white. Each light bulb was the size of a walnut. The tree was light on December 22, 1882 at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City. At the time, the local newspapers totally ignored Edward’s story. They viewed the tree as a way to advertise the Edison Electric Light Company and were not interested in doing so for free.
In 1895, Grover Cleveland, who was the president at the time, sponsored the first outdoor electrically light Christmas Tree with over 100 multicolored lights. It is considered to have been the first commercially produced Christmas Tree.
By 1900, businesses started installing Christmas Lights in their windows. At the time, Christmas Lights were still too expensive for most. It took another 30 years for candles to be replaced by electric lights.
In the US, this is around the time many people started having indoor Christmas Trees. It certainly was because many cities started the tradition of having outdoor Christmas Trees. First in San Diego, California in 1904, a few years later Appleton, Wisconsin in 1909, and finally New York City, New York in 1912. In the 20’s, General Electric sponsored community lighting competitions! But the average household would really start having a Christmas Tree in the mid-1950s.
It did not take long for the strings of light to go from the tree to adorn various parts of houses and businesses. Porches, doorways, rafters, roof lines… Even skyscrapers get light by long vertical strings.
And you probably know the rest! Technology has become better and better allowing for indoor and outdoor Christmas Lights and prices have fallen allowing even poorer folks to adorn their Christmas Tree and House with strings of lights.