Christmas Tree Lane
Ways to View the Street
Christmas Tree Lane lights and decorations are displayed (approx.) two weeks during the Christmas Holidays. Christmas Tree Lane's lights will be turned on at 5:00 PM and turned off at 11 PM nightly from December 12th to December 31st.
Walking (recommended): Park on adjacent neighborhood streets and stroll down Christmas Tree Lane
Driving: Caution, Fulton Street is not a one-way street. Drivers, please turn off your headlamps to "park" and drive slowly down the street. Anticipate adults and children crossing Fulton Street - along the Lane.
How it all Started
The row of houses on Fulton Street off Embarcadero Road was the last street in Palo Alto in 1940 when four residents there gathered around a bridge table one day and discussed the upcoming holiday season.
It was during that game at the home of Judge Edward E. Hardy that one of Palo Alto’s longest standing traditions was born.
As a result, that holiday in 1940, the men placed pipes in the ground at equal distances in front of the houses
of the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Fulton Street. They strung electrical wires along the street, and then capped their efforts by going out and purchasing Yule trees for each pipe on the lane. The pipes served as Christmas tree stands.
When the lights came on that Christmas in 1940, “Christmas Tree Lane” came alive for the first time. Ever since, Fulton Street residents have held closely to the tradition, providing a strip of lighted trees and decorated homes unrivaled on the Peninsula.
Palo Alto Times, 1988