Sundar Shadi began his holiday display in 1949, with a large star on his empty lot next to his home on Arlington Boulevard in El Cerrito. Over time, Sundar added dozens of hand-made figures of shepherds, sheep, sheep dogs, camels and camel riders, donkeys, village people and village. All of the figures were hand-made by Shadi out of household items, such as coat hangers, juice bottles, coffee and cookie tins, chicken wire and stucco. The buildings in the village were mostly donated milk cartons. Dorothy Shadi made the clothes for the human figures out of oil cloth tablecloths and plastic shower curtains so that they would be weather proof. In addition to making more sheep and goats in the ensuing years, Sundar added an angel and signs. Sundar repaired the figures during the year and displayed all in a lighted display on his lots for 14 days each holiday season.
Back to top