Holiday lights in Oakland on Picardy Drive

Oaklanders who were all upset over the Chronicle not featuring enough positive stories about Oakland after last week’s “Oakland Exodus” section should be pleased when they pick up Sunday’s paper, which features a very sweet story about the holiday lights on Picardy Drive, an adorable little street out near Mills College:

The world may be hurtling toward a second Great Depression, but on Picardy Drive the lights are shining bright.

The hundred or so residents of Picardy Drive in East Oakland fought back the gloom Saturday by illuminating their street with an unbroken string of lights, in a holiday tradition that dates back to the first Great Depression, nearly 80 years ago.

“The world is in such a bad situation right now,” said Louie Dill, a retired auto mechanic who moved to Picardy 39 years ago. “To be in a community with such good people, and to see these beautiful lights, is just a joy. The Lord blessed me to let me to live here, and I’ve loved every day.”

I’ve wanted to visit the Christmas display on Picardy for a couple years now, but never managed to make it out there before tonight. It was a really fun excursion – I got to see a part of Oakland I’ve never been to before. Wow! That neighborhood is seriously charming. Definitely not what one thinks of when one hears the term “East Oakland.” Anyway, I recommend visiting if you’re a fan of Christmas lights and have some spare time one of these evenings.

Here are some photos:

Picardy Drive

Picardy Drive


Picardy Drive


Picardy Drive

2 thoughts on “Holiday lights in Oakland on Picardy Drive

  1. Coolhand Luke

    Thanks so much V. This is what I was talking about on another recent post of yours. There are so many cool pockets of neighborhoods in Oakland that we have no reason to cross paths with, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Picardy is a family tradition for my fam. We drive through or walk around the neighborhood every year. A fair number of neighboring streets have taken up the practice as well if you explore the area a bit further.

    I also posted on your neighborhood naming project. Great post. Also, thanks so much for adding me to your list of Oakland links, I really appreciate it! I will add you to mine as well.

  2. Joanna/ShopGirl

    I love it! Every Christmas Eve we’d go for a drive to see xmas lights and when we got home Santa had been there. There’s a lot of great spots like Picardy Drive that can put you in the holiday spirit.

    Ironically, I have Snowman Jack out again this year, as I do every year, and once again some homeless man beat the crap out of him (inflatable snowman) the other day. I went out to stop the mahem and the guy just looked at me when I asked him what the Snowman had ever done to him. Oh well. I think others get a kick out of seeing him, especially in the evening when it’s dark but before I close.