Prairie Village’s popular holiday display Candy Cane Lane will see a slightly modified schedule this year, following reports of vandalism and other “disruptive” behavior from visitors. Still, the annual tradition will go on, organizers say.
“Despite the unfortunate actions of a few which have caused safety concerns for our residents and passers by, we are proud and humbled to share this 60-plus year tradition with our community,” residents Tracy Caldwell and Caitlin McPartland wrote to the Post in an email. “There are many residents of both Kansas and Missouri that cherish their childhood memories as they drive through our street, and we are blessed to continue this tradition for future generations.”
Since 1958, residents of the cul-de-sac on Outlook Lane off 79th Street have turned their street into a brightly lit winter wonderland around Christmastime. The display includes holiday lights and decorations, robotic displays and cutouts of well-known holiday characters, like the Grinch and the Abominable Snow Monster.
Normally, the display comes on at 5 p.m. each night and stays lit until 11 p.m. But the displays and lights will now be turned off at 10:30 p.m., after some issues.
On Nextdoor, one of Candy Cane Lane’s organizers said visitors had been “loitering, blocking traffic and vandalizing our displays.”
Prairie Village deputy chief Maj. Byron Roberson said a patrol supervisor talked with an individual in charge of Candy Cane Lane last Saturday, who was seeking advice on how to curb vandalism at the popular destination.
The officer agreed with the individual’s suggestion that shutting down the holiday display at 10:30 each night could help alleviate the problem.
“This was a voluntary solution by the Candy Cane Lane residents,” Roberson said.
Candy Cane Lane has been the target of theft before, with a Cindy-Lou Who cutout being stolen in 2011.
On Facebook, Candy Cane Lane organizers encouraged viewers to continue to drive by in the spirt of the Christmas season, even with the slight change in schedule. Caldwell and McPartland echoed that sentiment to the Post.
“Everyone on Candy Cane Lane sends wishes for holiday happiness and peace along with best wishes for 2021! We are honored by the community support,” they wrote.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include the perspectives of Caldwell and McPartland.