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200 cars in a night: Candy Cane Lane in Salyersville

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:20 PM EST
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SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Ben Gardner is the 88-year-old man bringing the Christmas spirit to Salyersville in a big way.

”This is Candy Cane Lane,” he said. “It was started by the wife and I after I retired in the mid 90′s, and as you can see, its kind of got out of hand since then.”

The idea was just supposed to be, Ben would hand out candy canes to local children a few nights out of the season, and hang a couple Christmas lights. Now, he has too many lights to county.

”We do this for the enjoyment of the children,” Gardner said. “It’s something that we can do for the community. It doesn’t cost much and children seem to get enjoyment out of it.”

For most of the two decades Candy Cane Lane has grown, Gardner has been there in play Santa.

”Since the virus has been around we decided that was too risky,” he explained. “So, we established the mailbox over here and they bring letters to Santa and we answer all of those.”

Gardner lets all children know that Santa is thinking about them and reminds them of the true spirit of Christmas.

”It’s not just toys and the light and whatever, but it’s really the birth of our Jesus, our savior, and we should all remember that,” he said.

Candy Cane Lane is an easy drive for the public. It’s located west of Salyersville on US 460 and is open every night, after dark, until the New Year.

”I guess you can say it’s been gratifying to see the community accept this,” Gardner said. “But, it gives you pure joy to be out here with the children and see the enjoyment that they get from coming down and seeing the lights.

When it’s not the Christmas season, Candy Cane Lane is home to the Gardner Farmstead.

Ben’s family home was established in 1830 and since 2015 the property has been on the National Register of Historic Places.

An example of an antebellum farm, the site has seen historic Civil War reenactments over the years.

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