Thank you to the Shadi committee and all of the Volunteers.


Dates: Saturday, December 14, 2019 through Thursday, December 26, 2019

Time: The display lights go on at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., daily.


7501 Moeser Lane in El Cerrito (near Seaview)

El Cerrito, CA


Local Map - Shadi Holiday Display

Drone Footage

See some amazing drone footage from 2016 -Link to Drone Footage

Time Lapse Video

Fast forward 2017 Shadi set-up. This is a lot of fun to watch. If you worked on the set-up, try to find yourself. Link to Time Lapse


The Shadi Holiday Display is a beloved tradition in El Cerrito, and it would not be possible without community volunteers. Dates for these volunteer positions will be added soon: we need help with ground prep, display set up and take down . For more info or to volunteer, call 510-524-9468.

We also invite you to serve as a volunteer “shepherd” or docent for the display—to greet visitors, answer questions, and share information. Shepherd shifts run from 5 – 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 – 10 p.m. nightly. For more info or to volunteer, email Donna Houser:



The Shadi Holiday Display has been a cherished Christmas tradition for children and families in El Cerrito and surrounding communities for the past 68 years— and we invite you to help us continue the tradition.
With your support, we can preserve the display and continue the tradition. Your contribution of any amount will help our volunteers repair the figurines, pay the electricity bill, and maintain the Shadi display for years to come. Thank you!



Barbara S. - I’ve lived 2 miles from Mr. Shadi’s house since 1981. I have fond memories of walking by his home while he was out watering (by hand- no sprinkler system as far as I could see) his beautiful flower carpets. I told him how much I enjoyed his flowers and his wonderful Christmas display. He seemed very humble , but truly appreciative of my compliments. It’s nice that the City of El Cerrito still has his display on Moeser Lane during the holidays.

LaDonna D. - I stopped by last Christmas when I was in town... took my kids (who are in their late 20's), always amazing, every time! One of my best childhood memories. My parents lived off Moeser and Ashbury,it was just a short walk up the hill. The Christmas display and lights and night....just beautiful!

Peggy P. - I used to love to drive by his house and look at his beautiful garden. Then at Christmas time my friends and I would sing Christmas carols as all the cars drove by. Wonderful memories!!!

Gary S. - Thanks for the memory! I remember driving slowly by his house at Christmas time to enjoy his display!

Rachel K. - Wow! Memories. I remember going every year at Christmas time. To my child self, there was nothing more spectacular.

Tom W. - When I was a kid I loved his flower displays and Christmas decorations!!!!

Suzy L. - It was a necessary part of every holiday season to visit his display, long after we left El Cerrito

Jeannie M. - Wonderful memories, our parents would drive us by at Christmas! Beautiful person.

Gretchen S. - Thank you to the Sundar Shadi family for the beautiful handcrafted Xmas displays my family would drive to see every year. It was a lovely tradition for so many & we are grateful! We should all open our minds & hearts & allow the wonderful contributions of all people to enrich our lives.

Sue C. - He never asked for anything. He was a humble man who worked hard, loved this country, and found a special way to give back to everyone. I first saw the display in 1958, and have remained grateful to this day for his generosity.

Paul S. - I just remember it being a very special time when my mom would take us up into the Arlington to see Mr. Shadi's house at Christmas time. I had never seen anything like his hillside before...Amazing!

Ronna B. - Thank you for your loving work on this. I used to stop by every year to help him when I could. He would quietly find just the right spot for each animal and arranged everything with loving care. This gentle man taught me how to give without expecting anything in return. I am so grateful that his gift of grace continues. Such a good man. He taught the world what humanity truly means.

Earlonda W.I. - Thank You All So Very Much, I Have Loved The Gorgeous Display All My Life!! I Lived On Liberty St. When I Was Little.. But Even Before Then My Parents & I Went Every Year & There After.. I Adore It!!

Ray W. - I remember Mr. Shadi every year putting up his Christmas display. People would come from all over to see it. It was magical!

Katrina R. - When we lived in San Pablo, taking the beautiful drive on the Arlington and visiting this was one of our family holiday traditions. It was amazing.

Dwayne B. - Such magical times in my youth with the family driving by the display on Arlington.. such good times and Memories of this .. Thanks Mr. Shadi!

Gretchen S. - When I was a child in the 50's & 60's & lived in Richmond, every Christmas we would drive up the hill & patiently drive past your amazing holiday display. We knew it had all been lovingly handcrafted, better every year. It was a major highlight of our holiday festivities. Thank you! Thank you so much for the many years of your devotion & hard work bringing us the highlight of our holiday season. My family was always thrilled to see such a wondrous display.

Eileen P.C. - Thank you for the HUGE effort put out each year to bring this beautiful display to life!

Teri P. - For many years my parents would make the drive up Moser to the Arlington to view Mr. Shadi's display, then at his home. Now, I bring my parents and daughter up every year. Truly grateful for his lovely gift.

Norma D. - It would not be Christmas without this wonderful display

Sheila P. - What a great job you've done keeping this beloved Christmas tradition alive! Many thanks to each and everyone involved.

Lori B. - I remember going to see that house when we visited Aunt Mary. So cool the owners still decorate for Christmas.

Goldie M. - No one like him in the world! ❤ ️In my soul forever! Build it and they will come! The Field with Bethlehem, a place where Christmas dreams come true! Mr. Sundar Shadi, playing lead Angel out in his field, watching over his flock! My greatest memory is, standing there every year, waiting in the cold for Mr. Shadi to make his appearance, the display was magical, but Mr. Shadi to me was like greeting Santa Claus himself! When I was 4, he was larger than life! Then as I had Children, I brought them every year, they too admired the man who made the magic at Christmas! Now this year, my Grandchild gets to experience this magical event, but not without our memories passed to her of the magical man who was larger than life that now has left his magical legacy for the world to Love! Always in my heart Mr. Shadi, the brightest Star in Heaven!

Ima R. - Thank you volunteers. Love and light to all. Happy holidays. Thanks for keeping the Shadi spirit alive.

Mary L. - Thank you for your hard work. It brings up so many wonderful memories for me. I loved it as a kid and after I moved to Canada still managed to visit it and share it with my daughter on our visits to my parents in El Cerrito. Thank you for keeping it alive.

Rianna B. - My mom and I saw this EVERY year on the Arlington growing up. It was one of our many traditions.

Debbie H.S. - Took my kids every year! It's was a tradition. So glad it continues!

Gail Marie L. - So amazing that this is still going on. Growing up in Richmond my family would go to see it every year. One of my fondest childhood memories.

Deborah C. - Went there as a child, and took my son as a little boy. Thankful for those who continue the tradition (hard work) raining or not! My mom and Dad took us.

Alexis P.R. - One of the holiday decorations I have always looked forward to as a kid when it was on the Arlington and now over they years something I take my grandkids to see .

Dave P. - Can't tell you how many times I've run right by that spot. Miss it beyond words.

Rosanne S. - I lived in El Cerrito for almost 30 years and his display was a big part of everyone's Christmas. I'm so glad it was saved and is still being shown.

Leslie S. - These are looking SO great! I have visited the display (we called it the "Arlington") since I was born. It was our family Christmas tradition to go up there and view the wonderful exhibit and listen to the music and feel the frosty air, as we took in all the beauty of the lights and the statues and the story of Christmas. I was so thankful to be able to take my own little children there last Christmas, and share this magic with them. Thank you so much for preserving the legacy of this wonderful man, Mr. Shadi, for all of us to continue to enjoy so very much. I cannot wait to visit again with my little ones.

Ann R. - I still call it the Arlington! My grandparents used to live at the bottom of the drive in Richmond so Christmas night always ended with a visit, not to mention the additional visit we had made earlier in the month. My youngest daughter will see it for the first time this year. (2016) We haven't been up there for about 10 years with our older daughter. So looking forward to it. Thank you for keeping it alive.

Kit O. - I was blessed to be able to see this growing up. I saw it last year. My brother and I went after living away for so many years. Great memories!

Cheryl H.C. - Good to have such childhood memories! We waited every year to see his whole hillside transformed into a Christmas spectacular. I remember every year there would be new additions! The highlight of the Christmas season back in the early '50s. Those were the good old days.

Rick V. - Growing up in El Cerrito this was the best part of the Christmas season. What a great treat and a great family to have given so much joy during the season. Thank you for the memories.

Jim W. - For many years there would be a long line of cars stopped on the Arlington to watch this display.

Michael R. - Was always fun to go every year as a kid.

Shelley C. - I remember, every year.

Ronna B. - Thanks to all the lovely folks that made this happen!

Deidre W. - I'm choking up. This was such a big part of my childhood.

Nola C.H. - Ah such great memories of seeing this every year!

Wanda S.R. - thank you so much. Mr.Shadi was an amazing man.

Gayle A. - We went to see it every year. My dad was an El Cerrito cop and knew him. He started out with just a few figures and every year he would add more! Finally the hillside was covered!

Doreen S. -was there since i was a little girl. kind of him to leave it to the city when he passed.

Ria M. - Wow, still doing it! Saw this 35 years ago.

Diana L. - So nice to see the display lives on. So many memories of driving on the foggy Arlington only to see this beautiful display and lights emerge out of the fog!

Theresa S. - I have so many memories there. I went there every year when I was a kid.

Glorya N. - Visiting Mr. Shadi's hillside was a long family tradition for us. I remember seeing tour buses lined up, in addition to many people just parking blocks away. Such a beautiful gift he gave us all for so many years.

Barbara B. - I love people like you who are carrying on a wonderful tradition. When my family and lived in El Cerrito, we never missed a drive by of Mr. Shadi’s Christmas Display.

Cherie N. - This was my childhood.

Leslie S. - Thank you so very much for posting this. I used to visit "The Arlington" with my parents every year since I was born. It is such a beautiful memory. I was able to take my children after the volunteers made it possible for the tradition to continue. That meant so very much to me. I am in another state right now and I appreciate this video so very much. Thank you for allowing us to experience the beauty of the display even from afar. Merry Christmas.

Susan D - The Shadi's love extended beyond the gardens and Christmas display... Madera Elementary has a plaque dedicated to Mrs. Shadi. I believe Mrs. Shadi involved herself in fundraising for Madera Elementary. Mr. Shadi should have been a teacher. He always talked to all of us neighborhood kids as we walked home from school. We like talking with Mr. Shadi. He talked to us about many worldly things in such a way that it was easy and natural. He cared about us! We loved Mr. & Mrs. Shadi. 60s & 70s...

Liz R - Seeing the original Shadi display location was a Christmas Eve tradition. Me and my cousins were taken by our fathers to see the display and then once we would head back to my grandparents, Santa had left gifts in our stockings. Shadi was always part of the magic when I was young and I think about it every single year. It's sad to see even the empty lot is now going to be a home. I have always wanted to go back just to visit the same exact area from when I was a child. However it is absolutely wonderful that the display lives on. Thankful to hear a committee keeps the magic alive.

Susan N - Wonderful memories visiting. I remember coming up for dessert with your grandparents. Being a little girl and seeing the display for the first time was magical. Your grandma and grandpa were lovely people.

Cheryl C - I’m 75 now and live in San Jose for 45 years in the same house...and lived my younger years in the Arlington Estates by the golf course. That was in the 40’s & 50’s. We drove by there every night back then to see the Christmas display grow year by year. After we moved to Palo Alto when I was 12 we would drive over the Dumbarton Bridge every year to see the display as it grew. Then when I had children we would drive them over to El Cerrito About every year for them to see. Then we drive over with our grandchildren. The past years or so we would enjoy pictures published on the papers and internet and read the amazing news updates. Then no more. I am shocked it took so many years to finally build on it, but this I just saw brought tears to my eyes. Every good thing eventually changes and ends. God bless the generations of dedication to the ever growing display.

Gail M - Vera Shadi your parent’s display brought such wonderful memories for generations of people. I vividly remember my dad driving our car up Arlington Ave from Kensington to see the display. It was a highlight of the season! Much love to all your family.

Shadi Logo Text Only Mission Statement: Maintain and display the folk art Christmas scene created by Sundar Shadi. © 2019 - Shadi Holiday Display.
Committee members: Jane Bartke, Rich Bartke, Michelle Fadelli, Donna Houser, Greg Lyman, Joann Steck-Bayat, Marty Takimoto