Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hastings Ranch Christmas Lights

This house is on Riviera Drive. Kinda hard to see but these characters are from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, a stop action Christmas TV special that has aired every year since 1964. There's Rudolph, Santa and the Abominable Snow Monster. I think Hermey the Elf and Sam the Snowman are in there too. This is the one where Hermey the Elf (who wants to be a dentist) and Rudolph (with his red nose) find common cause as outcasts. The special was narrated by singer/actor Burl Ives, who amazingly enough, has now been mentioned twice on these pages.

The Hastings Ranch displays are an annual tradition going back to 1957. We went several times last year and I enjoy it every year.
I've always been impressed that so many in the Hastings Ranch neighborhood join in with the annual "light up." But, from driving around, it seems that participation may have dropped off this year.
Before driving looking at lights, I took the kids to Hamilton Park, which is in the Hastings Ranch neighborhood. As we are known to do, we stayed until it got dark.

This weekend was just great weather-wise -- warm and generally clear in the mid-70's. It was nice weather to do some yard work, go to the park and then amble around looking at Christmas lights. Forecast for Christmas is clear and windy in the high 60's.

6 comments:

altadenahiker said...

One time I was in Hamilton and a man dropped out of the sky. He had been hanggliding off one of the San Gabe peaks.

Michael Coppess said...

I've seen bats flying around the park at dusk; but never men dropping from the sky. That's really cool!

Cafe Pasadena said...

Taking pics of Christmas house lights is very challenging for me (or my camera?). Is it for you?

And, hope you had a Happy Festivus today, EA!

Michael Coppess said...

Thank you CP. I am more than challenged by night time photography. REI has some workshops that I'm thinking about to enhance my minimal skills as a photographer.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

One of my all time favorite childhood places in it's 1960's glory. I was told that the tradition was started by Hollywood set makers living there.

Interesting thing happened during the Carter administration. We were told to turn off the lights to conserve energy and the ranch went dark. It took years for the tradition to recover.

Michael Coppess said...

PA: Thank you for the history. Set makers -- I like that. I've always been amazed at the number of folks who cooperate in putting the displays. I searched the Upper Hastings web site and the Internet, but didn't find much of the history of this great neighborhood tradition. I did learn that it goes back to 1957.