While Christmas is months away the holiday spirit is coming back to residents on Powell Street in Exeter. For those that remember the days of Exeter’s Candy Cane Lane, Powell Street was the place to see some of the best local lights and holiday décor. But as residents aged and people moved, the tradition ended and residents were left with mere memories. But now, Exeter Police Officer Mark Frick is ready to help residents make more holiday memories by bringing back the famous, Candy Cane Lane.
“The goal is basically to get the community involved,” said Frick to Exeter City Council when presenting his plan.
Frick is looking for volunteers to help coordinate the event, but also help residents put up décor. He’s also seeking donations from money for electric bills to spare decorations.
“We want to start right after Thanksgiving and be ready to light Powell Street the night after the Exeter Christmas Parade,” said Frick.
Frick said the street décor will go down Powell from Joyner to Filbert. It will be open for traffic every day except Thursdays when it will be walking only from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday nights will also feature local musicians and holiday treats; parking will be available at the Exeter Church of Christ on Filbert and Firebaugh. Frick said he hopes that people will participate in both the Downtown Open House on Thursdays and stop off on Powell Street , making Exeter the perfect Christmas hotspot in the county. Local churches are potentially planning to have a living nativity at the church on Thursdays nights as well.
Frick said in keeping with previous traditions volunteers will paint the trucks of trees white and attach red ribbons to the trees. For those residents who remember the original Candy Cane Lane, the revival is long coming.
Howard Joyner lives on Powell Street and participated in original Candy Cane Lane for almost 20 years. He still has some of the wooden figures that used to adorn his front yard from those days as well.
“People still ask about Candy Cane Lane,” said Joyner. “We would put out a Santa Claus and various figures. They’re stashed in the garage somewhere now.”
The 84 year old said while he’s too old to decorate how he used to, he’d be more than willing to participate again if he was given a little help.
Those interested in getting involved should contact Officer Frick at [email protected]