Idyllwild has been impacted as COVID-19 has changed life in so many ways. Many annual events have been canceled, leaving everyone in the community feeling a bit out of sorts.

Join in on the holiday fun by participating in the Holiday Drive-By Decorating Extravaganza. Image courtesy of Marsha Kennedy

One of the big events is the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, which is normally held the last Saturday of November. This year would have been the 60th annual ceremony. 

Idyllwild locals Marsha Kennedy and Shannon Ng decided to brainstorm and find a way to help keep the holiday community spirit alive and well, while remaining safe.

They started a Facebook group called Holiday Drive-By Decorating Extravaganza, inviting the community to decorate their houses to share with the community. 

“It’s open to individuals, groups, businesses, etc. — full-time or part-time residents,” Kennedy said. “We want to encourage everyone to decorate their homes, garage or the empty space in the forest next to their homes — anything, really.”

The concept is to uplift the community spirit. Those who wish to participate will be placed on a list so the public can view the decorated houses and drive by at their leisure.

If you feel like you can’t create something fancy, don’t be deterred. It’s more about having fun than it is about competition. Participating in a way that is feasible is what’s important. 

“It doesn’t need to be real intricate decorating,” Kennedy explained. “We just want people to participate. Especially at this time with the pandemic going on, we want to help people have a sense of purpose, feel like we are all in this together and we just want to bring some joy.”

The rules are simple. The event will start Dec. 9 and will run through the evening of Jan. 1, bringing the event to a close Jan. 2. Participants are being asked to turn their lights on from 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays during that time. While this isn’t a contest, there will be some fun categories. 

“We wanted to keep this very simple but thought it would be fun to have some categories,” Kennedy said. “They include Most Creative, Most Outrageous, Simple Yet Elegant and Charlie Brownish. We want to give some recognition to those who participate with a yard sign to place in their yard that shows their efforts.” 

Dec. 9 is the day Idyllwild a cappella group Local Color would do their annual sing-along at the Idyllwild Library, which is why that was the date chosen to start the event. According to Kennedy, there is still a plan in place to do the singing event via Zoom to keep the tradition alive.

“We are hoping for a lovely turnout of decorations for the Holiday Drive-By Decorating Extravaganza,” Kennedy said.

The deadline for registering to be on the list is 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7. Every participant will receive a certificate of participation. Any decorated location that is top-notch among the various categories will receive a yard sign announcing the achievement.

If you are interested in participating in the Holiday Drive-By Decorating Extravaganza, you can find the form and join the group on Facebook at or send an email to [email protected].