Candy Cane Lane

Macey Keim, Staff Writer

The spectacular lights in West Frankfort began on what is now known as Candy Cane Lane, across from FCHS. On December 1st, the line to Candy Cane Lane on Main Street was a few blocks long and only got longer as the night went on.

The wait was well worth it! Viewers were greeted by Monsters Inc characters and artistically painted wooden musical celebrities such as Taylor Swift, The Beatles, and Bruno Mars.

Although the rest of the attraction was beautiful, the first block of the Candy Cane Lane (down Oak Street then back up E. Elm Street) was poorly lit, with the exception of the house that intersects with the Lane where a traditional Barney decoration is.

Once back on S. Candy Cane Lane, there were some live entertainment from two teenage boys doing tricks in a yard, and the classic Santa statue in the lit up window of a house to the right.

The main event was on E. Candy Cane Lane where the whole light festivity comes to an end with the two most lit up houses; the castle house, on the right, is dedicated to the owner’s Mom, Dad, and Miss. Ginger. This is followed by the house of the “12 Days Of Christmas” with many Disney movie characters scattered at the front of the yard.

As usual, there was a young man handing out candy canes to the visitors of the show, and collecting donations from the generous people wanting to help out Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy is the man who has put together the Candy Cane Lane light display since the beginning by getting the Frankfort Community High School art class involved in the attraction.

For many years, the light festival has been the FCHS art class’ annual winter project. The students make decorations for the owners of the houses to put up in their yards in order to participate in the light display and show off the art students’ hard work.

The donations go towards helping Mr. Murphy pay for the electricity bill for the lights, as well as some art supplies to allow the students to continue this tradition. A prime attraction for the young kids who go to see the lights is the north pole mailbox at the end of E. Candy Cane Lane. Throughout the years many children who came to drive or walk through Candy Cane Lane have dropped off their notes to Santa in this mailbox.

Although many children love sending letters to Santa, many annual visitors had said they missed the traditional wooden kids and the music that is heard throughout Candy Cane Lane (“It’s a small world”) that makes the climax of the light display.

I had noticed during my visit to Candy Cane Lane the traditional “It’s a small world” display had been replaced with what had appeared to be impromptu live entertainment.

The north pole mailbox and donation box are the conclusion of the light display followed by the exit of Candy Cane Lane down S. Lincoln Street, where a line of anxious visitors anticipate the traditional beginning to the Southern Illinois Christmas season. If you haven’t been to see Candy Cane Lane this year, make sure you head out to West Frankfort to visit Memory Lane, also known as Candy Cane Lane, to see the popular decorations and to see what is missing this year.

Candy Cane Lane is well known throughout many towns, including Carterville. Many adults and especially students that attend CHS. One of our own peers stated her opinion about the lights. “I was really impressed by the light displaces this year,” says freshman Kami Glasser. Sophomore, Lance Thomas  noted,“I go to Candy Cane Lane every year, but this year it was more interesting and breathtaking!” Overall, Candy Cane Lane has improved their lights and made it worthwhile for everyone to go out to West Frankfort to see for themselves just how bright and beautiful they really are.