Family doesn't let stolen decorations ruin last Christmas Tree Lane walk night of season

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This may be the second and final walk night for the year, but the Gallaghers are not letting some Grinch spoil Christmas Tree Lane.

For a 96th year, Holiday lights illuminated a Northwest Fresno Neighborhood, but one character was missing a homemade Hermie the misfit elf.

"So not being there for kids to take pictures. I think that's the most disappointing part, we didn't get him returned in time for the walk night," said Dan Gallagher.

But thieves couldn't spoil the Gallagher's 12th year showcasing Rudolf and friends for family photos.

Thousands have made walk night part of their family tradition.

"It was amazing, coming with friends, I watched my friend propose to his girlfriend, and now coming with my daughter makes it so magical," said Kat Boren of Fresno.

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Action News reporter Vanessa Vasconcelos gives a live look at the last walk-night for the 2018 Christmas Tree Lane season. The best accessory? Hot cocoa of course!

"It's just so special it's so fun for all of us," said India Zepeda, Bullard High student.

The line for facetime with Old St Nick stretched around the corner, but 7-year old Maverick Jacobsen says he's already covered.

"My reindeer took my list to him already," he said.

He and his family wore matching Christmas lights -- but they were more than just festive accessories.

"I like seeing all the decorations and how cool they are and how much they get every year," Maverick said.

Close to 70 deputies with the Fresno County sheriff's office patrolled the 2 mile stretch of Van Ness. While many wore light-up necklaces to keep track of their groups.

"It really separates everyone once you get to know the certain light and colors that they are, so you can keep a little bit easier tabs on the kids because it does get dark here in certain areas," said Ryan Jacobsen, Fresno County Farm Bureau.

Other than the potential for smash and grabs with unattended cars, their biggest concern, for walk night was making sure families stuck together.

Each intersection had at least one deputy on hand.

If you missed out on the final walk night of 2018, you still have two weeks to drive down Christmas Tree Lane.
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