The creator of a well-loved Rutland Christmas tradition thought he was going to downsize the event this year, but it kept growing.
About 70 houses are decorated for the holiday season along Collison Road, Gramiak Road and Mary Court, forming a giant candy cane for the annual Candy Cane Lane.
Creator Damjan Madjar said the project started with a friend, and the pair hand delivered letters in October, in preparation for the event, but it wasn’t met with much success.
The following year had more participants, and it’s been growing every year since, he said.
But it’s been getting tougher to stay involved, Madjar said, as he’s been focusing on his company and was in China for the last two months. His sister has been handing out letters to help him out.
However, despite the busy time of the season, Madjar said there are more lights this year, and new neighbours with their children are getting involved.
“There’s about five new neighbours in the neighbourhood and they like it,” he said.
The Facebook group also has been growing organically, he said. “Everyone was just asking when the lights were going up, so it was a nice way to communicate.”
Donations will be accepted for the to the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank at a food bin on the corner of Gramiak and Collison Roads. The event tends to hit around the 10,000 pound mark each year in donations, he said.
And the neighbourhood is just your average, every day, working class.
“Nobody has the multi-million dollar houses that you’ll see in certain parts of Kelowna, not knocking on them by any means, but these are people that spend the time and the money, not even for themselves,” Madjar said.
“It’s a lot of work for everybody… but where else can you just throw up lights and people will donate food…. Collectively you end up raising a substantial amount that ends up filling the cupboards (of those in need.)”
Candy Cane Lane lights will be on display every night until Jan. 1.
In the next few years, Madjar is considering asking for the public’s assistance for help, in order to help the elderly in the neighbourhood set up lights and to keep the event going as it continues to grow.