While a legendary light display will be off limits for the first time this year, another local man has made it his mission to bring the holiday spirit back to Prairie Village.
After nearly 50 years, Mike Babick, also known as Father Christmas, says he won't be decorating his home this year after the City Council passed an ordinance requiring homeowners to get a special permit.
But while Babick's house is dark this holiday, Tim Dorr has been working to bring light to the situation. Dorr has also been drawing distracting crowds to his home for years and has now found a way to reposition his passion for the better.
To little ones it may seem like magic, but there is a lot of manual labor behind this blitz of blinking lights.
"We got the bulk of everything up in two days. And then we spent three days hooking up all the controllers," Dorr said.
The next 40 days involve daily check-ups.
"Things are looking good, except for my poor little elves," he said.
Dorr gets geeked-out over rigging up the works with imagination and YouTube taught skill.
It's Dorr's seventh year fiddling with festive electronics, creating a carefully choreographed light show that grows every year.
"It started as 16 mini trees," he said.
The crowd also grew, causing a commotion that eventually turned off a neighbor after the traffic became "crazy". The neighbor asked him to move the display.
So Dorr put out the word, and the mayor offered a spot behind City Hall.
The display is in year two at its new home, and though it's more work for Dorr he think it's better overall.
"We have a bigger canvas to use, and we can have more people see it at one particular time," he said.
And any extra work is well worth keeping it going because Dorr loves it.
"And the people who come to see it love it," he added.
Three animated elves named Jingle, Jangle and Judy are voiced by Dorr's three grandchildren. The elves direct people to make donations for Habitat for Humanity, an element that began before it became a city event.
So far he has raised $8,000 in the past three years.
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