Seeing Christmas lights is one of the highlights of the season for me. I think it is partly because I like to decorate my own house and go to see others. One of the places we make an effort to visit each year is Thoroughbred Street in Rancho Cucamonga. While the lights were beautiful as always there was several things different this year.
The first thing I noticed is that we were one of the very few people walking around on the streets. I thought this was odd even though we got there early at 4:50pm to park. There usually is a crowd of people already there walking around and enjoying the festivities. Apparently this year the city of Rancho Cucamonga decided to the event “drive-thru only” between the dates of December 15 – December 24th during the weekends. This change was implemented to reduce the risk of injuries, traffic flow through the streets, and negative behaviors. The convoy of cars stuck to one side of the road as we walked on the other side.
Even though I enjoyed being able to take pictures without having a bunch of other people around, the street felt empty as there were no kids selling hot chocolate for a humanitarian cause, no freshly made mini-donuts to chow down on either. Most residents were out-of-sight rather than in their driveways with family and friends around a warm bonfire. I started to miss the crowds as we got to the end of the street. I guess it’s just not as fun if you’re not slowed down by the person in front of you or dodging another stroller traveling in the opposite direction or seeing the kids line up for their 10 seconds of fame on the “stage for angels.” At least the cops didn’t give us a ticket for not knowing this year’s rules against walking around.
In addition to having the street to ourselves, I also got a few great shots of the Falcon 9 Rocket, launched by SpaceX that was reported as a successful launch however it did spark some concern, interest, and intrigue from those of us enjoying the lights that night. While it was a mysterious and exciting sight to see, it was kind of crazy because I’ve never seen something like this before. The cloud of smoke left by the rocket also glowed in the night sky for a while.
The Christmas lights of Thoroughbred are a wonderful treat to see each year but I much prefer to navigate through the streets in a crowd of people, all happy to be there and enjoying the hard work these residents go through year after year for us.