The Lope: Hutchinson, Kansas, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hutchinson, Kansas, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2010

There's a 2015">">2015 version
of this. What you see below is an archived copy of the 2014 version.

So you're visiting Hutchinson this Christmas, are you? Or maybe you're new here or just haven't had time to get out yet. There are lots of lights out there; here are pictures from this year and a few previous Christmas seasons. I've checked and anything pictured here in a previous year looks comparable this year.

Above is the "A Christmas Story" inspired window display at Hayes Sight and Sound, 510 North Main Street. (Note for 2001 - Haye's window is different, but almost everything else in this post is the same or better)

I've paid a lot of attention to municipal Christmas decorations over the years and I'm happy to note that the ones on Main Street between Avenue A and about 3rd Avenue look good both during the day and in the evening.

They even looked great in an ice storm, but nobody wants that.

The decorations on Main Street south of Avenue A were chosen to complement what has become known as the antiques district.

Some of the businesses have changed since this photo was taken on a foggy night in 2008.

The fog made for atmospheric shopping.

This is another previously unpublished photo of Main Street between Avenues B and C, back in 2008. I like the starkness of the scene; it reminded me of an Edward Hopper painting. Since this time, the Gallery 7 business inhabited and then moved from the building on the left.

Not so stark was the inside of Smith's Market during 2009's December Third Thursday when musicians entertained, watched over by a life-size Santa.

Nearby at Main Street and Avenue B, the Anchor Inn restaurant has displayed this light frame helicopter for the last few years. This shot is from last year when the lights that make up the blades worked better. This year there were more lights on the building.

Here's a video:

Anchor Inn's take-out branch, Anchors Away on Washington Street between Avenues A and B, sports this train atop a portico supported by swiss cheese girders. That's the Reno County Courthouse in the distance. This picture was taken in the snow that fell in December of 2009.

Jillian's Restaurant near Main Street and 3rd Avenue has featured an automated Santa the last couple years. Here's a video:

The Fox Theatre will be showing Christmas Vacation at 7:30 PM Christmas Day on a $5 buy one, get one free ticket. Of course the stage won't look like this, as this is from a Hutchinson Symphony performance, but this does show your view from the balcony of the cool Art Deco lamps. (Note for 2011 - The Fox will show Polar Express Christmas night)

2005 was the last time I photographed the Fox in the snow.

The Medicine Shoppe at 1401 North Main Street is outlined in red C7 bulbs.

Trinity United Methodist Church has displayed life-size Nativity statues for many years.

Harley's Bicycles at 629 North Main Street shows an older store display Santa.


The largest season-long area of Christmas lights is a half-mile square area of perimeter lights that covers most lawns from East 17th to 23rd Avenues and Meadowlark Lane to North Lorraine Street. The tradition started a number of years ago on East 22nd Avenue and typically begins Thanksgiving weekend and lasts til New Years.

The relatively new water treatment plant looks a bit like a clock tower behind a house at E 22nd Avenue and Meadowlark Lane.

A neighborhood north of 56th street features large wooden Christmas cards. I recommend starting at Sequoia and 56th.

Some houses near the Wesley Towers retirement community echo the main building's lights in that many lawns in the area have "trees" made by attaching lights to a pole.

The Houston Whiteside Historical District has a number of decorated homes. This one features a talking, singing automated Santa. I believe it was made by Gemmy Industries. The district is bordered by the BNSF railroad tracks on the North, Avenue B on the South, Elm Street to the West and Pershing Street to the East.

Every couple years the district holds a holiday homes tour. 2010 is an off year so there was no tour scheduled. Here are pictures from 2009.

These two houses on East Sherman Avenue illustrate the contrast between incandescent lights (left) and LEDs.

Just outside the district, this house on East Avenue A uses an indentation in its architecture as a crèche. It looked great in the snow last year.

The house at 904 East Avenue A usually has a nice display in the yard. This is the 2010 version.

This metal sculpture bison on the NW corner of 30th Avenue and Adams Street is often decked out for holidays. It also looked great in the 2009 snow.

Aside from its impressive luminaria, the Hyde park area has some nice Christmas stuff. This resident has displayed blow mold Santas for at least the last two years.

This house had this Santa on the roof last year. He has now moved to the ground for a closer look at the naughty and the nice.

And he has elves assisting him.

Of course Hutchinson's magnum opus is Dale Hankins' custom automated displays at "Grandma's House":

This house is across the intersection from Mr. Hankins at Downing Road and Countryside Drive.

There are at least three synchonized music and light shows in Hutchinson. I've posted videos of three of them before, only to have You Tube delete them or mute the audio. This is because the music used in such shows is copyrighted and You Tube's publishing of it, via users like me, is not authorized. This is a gray area of copyright law, with many cases of fragments of music and music owned by more tolerant agencies being "safe" for the time being. I would argue that videos posted as part of a report like this one would come under "fair use" because a report like this one is informative and, dare I say, even "journalistic."

So, for as long as they last, here are videos of the light show houses I know of in Hutch.

Here's a drive by 1004 College Lane, the home of Jason Rose:

There is a comparable house at 2602 Heather Parkway (home of Jon Powell). There is also one on Newport Road.

Now, arise from your tryptophan coma, go forth and see some cool stuff.


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