The Lope: Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

This is the archived 2015 version. You probably want the 2016 version. (unless it's later that 2016. Frankly, I don't know what you want, but then, who does? Anyway, 2016 is more current than 2015 so I'd take it if I were you.)

(Hutchinson's Hyde Park luminaria, above; read on for details)

Despite a Thanksgiving ice storm that slowed things down, Hutchinson, Kansas, is lighting up. This guide for 2015 is composed primarily of pictures from last year but I have visited all site in the past week to see if they're up. I'll be adding to this post so if you have anything to suggest, please comment.

The "North of 30th Avenue" Tour

My selections that are north of 30th Avenue fall into an easy tour pattern.

Starting at 30th Avenue where North Main Street ends and Countryside begins, drive the gentle curve north to northwest on Countryside and come to the magnum opus of Hutchinson's Christmas stuff at 25 Countryside Drive. The lawn of "Grandma's House" is densely populated with the automations of Dale Hankins. Each mechanical grandchild is on its way to Hankins' house via a different mode of transportation.

Here's a video I shot in 2013 as it snowed on the display. Dale, a retired nuclear scientist, adds new pieces most years to the amusement of his very real kids and grandkids. For background information see our posts from 2007 and 20082009, 20102011 and 2012. The display is identical in 2015 save for the roller coaster which is not in use this year. Caddy-cornered from Grandma's House you'll see Dale's daughter's fine display of lights.

The vintage red truck has returned to the NE corner of Carlton Road and Curtis Drive. I haven't seen it myself yet this year as it was a late addition, but I bet Santa is at the wheel.

Going west to 30th and Monroe St. you'll also find this highly color saturated home at 3001 North Monroe. In addition to lots of LED lights, they've chosen to use their house as a canvas for colored floodlights and have "Glory to God" and "Peace on Earth" signs." There's also a manger scene that faces 30th Avenue.

Go north up Monroe to continue your tour.

As you pass Monterey Place on the west side of Monroe, you'll see that the Wesley Towers  retirement complex down the street at  700 Monterey Place features stars facing four directions, horizontal architectural lights and a pole tree. This is also a small theme neighborhood at some homes in the vicinity have smaller pole trees.

Now go north on Monroe.

For the past few years, First Church of the Nazarene, 4290 N Monroe, has had a set of four singing Christmas trees with music. They tend to put it up somewhat late in the Christmas season; as of December 8 it was not up but I'll monitor it.

The northernmost attraction I am listing is Santa's Workshop at 6420 North Monroe, where a U-shaped driveway furnishes some lights and this humble workshop. Here's a video and another view.

After seeing this, you might turn around and go back south on Monroe and turn east at 43rd, then take a slight detour south down Plum to 41st.

Wooden reindeer, Santa and sleigh traverse the yard at 501 East 41st Avenue. These flat and sometimes jointed wood shapes, finished with paint or decals, were a precursor to plastic blow mold decorations.

Now, go back north to 43rd and turn east if you want to continue my path.

A neighborhood composed of a small network of streets north of 43th, beginning with Pagoda and ending with Sequoia, features large wooden Christmas cards, though the tradition is fading and I've seen only four so far in 2015.

Go back to 43rd and head east.

Last year there was an outlined barn and windmill with a snowflake on the vanes to the south of 43rd, visible behind a house and through some trees. The address is 1703 East 43rd and the farm is between Lorraine and Panorama. Here's another view. As of December 20 it is not decorated.

Proceed on west to Halstead and turn south. A home at 3810 Halstead Street features a backlit poinsettia graphic. It wasn't up when I first posted this 2015 edition but it is now.

Another display not up this year - at least not yet - was a music synchronized display on Prairie Hills Drive.

This concludes the loosely guided tour of the area north of 30th Avenue, The displays in Hutchinson are pretty evenly distributed and don't lend themselves to a tour.

Theme Neighborhoods

Aside from its impressive luminaria (Dec 19 this year), the Hyde Park area has some wonderfully decorated homes. This resident at 201 West 20th Ave. displays a collection of blow mold Santas.

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 St. The tradition started a number of years ago on East 22nd Avenue and typically begins Thanksgiving weekend and lasts til New Years. This year, so far, there are quite a few holes in the fabric of this neighborhood display but people may simply be running late due to the ice storm.


The house at 62 Meadowlark Lane is a sort of cornerstone of this neighborhood and is often the most decorated. It looked particularly good after this 2013 snow.

This one on Meadowlark Lane near 23rd Avenue displays the same pole trees in 2015 that I shot in this 2013 snow.

Within this area, part of East 20th Avenue displays blow mold candy canes. Blow mold candy canes, like most other blow molds are not easy to obtain anymore.

On the west end of town, an oval of streets consisting of Brookwood Drive, Wesbrook Drive and Linda Lane displays mail boxes decorated with red and green lights.

Just across Hendricks Street from the red and green mailbox neighborhood, Seville Court displays light poles wrapped in red lights.

The most prominent Yuletide feature of the Antique District of South Main Street is this this light frame helicopter atop the Anchor Inn at Main Street and Avenue B. Here's a wider view.

This year a waving Mrs. Claus was added.

Returning for 2015 is this animated light frame train atop Anchor Away between Avenue A and Avenue B on South Adams.

In 2014, new LED lights were added to downtown from about Avenue C to 3rd Street. I couldn't resist shooting when a convenient snowstorm occurred.

All colors of the stoplight are seen in this foggy night time exposure.

The Antique district displays lighted pole decorations featuring nostalgic graphics. These are used from Avenue A to about Avenue D along South Main Street.

This style of wreath with bells is used along Main and a little bit of some side streets from Avenue A to the BNSF railroad tracks at about 3rd Avenue. In 2013 the incandescent lights in the wreaths seen above were replaced with cool white LED lights. For more pictures of Hutchinson's street pole decorations under lots of weather conditions, see my 2010 Hutchinson Christmas light guide.

Just as last year (above), artist Brady Scott has painted many of Main Street's business windows this year from about 3rd through 7th streets.

Jillian's Italian Grill at 216 N Main Street usually displays a motorized store display Santa inside. Some years they have decided that he needs sunglasses.

Reger Rental at 615 North Main Street displays a motorized store window Santa.

The Kumorowski & Kumorowski attorney office at 523 North Main and the Cabinet Store next door at 521 North Main displayed older store window Santas last year but there's no sign of them yet this year.

Harley's Bicycles at 629 North Main has displayed a vintage Santa inside for the past several years. I checked and it's on display in the store again in 2015.

Necessities at 622 South Main has displayed a vintage Santa, puppy, reindeer and seal in their window for the past several years. This is what it looks like now.

Light and Sound Synchronized Displays

There are at least two synchronized music and light shows in Hutchinson. I have listed the FM radio frequency you'll need so you can already be tuned in as you approach.

1004 College Lane, home of Jason Rose, sometimes features a live Santa. Set your radio to 106.7 FM. The heavily decorated backyard of this home is visible from 14th Avenue. Additional pictures here and here.

A projection screen on a porch at 201 East 14th Ave shows a religious message. Set your radio to 89.7 FM.

The Carson family, formerly of 810 East 2nd Ave., has moved so you won't find a music synced display there. Here's a video to remember it by.

More Yuletide Houses

Matt Wilcox, 18 West Avenue G, puts the finishing touches on his portrait of Jack Skellington and Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Zero is made of heat-warped plastic. (another view)

Two more vehicle displays that I hope reappear this are the 1975 Kenworth truck on the south side of K61/US50 just west of the Ken Kennedy Freeway exit and the fire truck on the south side of 3rd Ave. just east of Severance.

The Johnsons at 400 East 12th Avenue have added new decorations every year for decades.

This house on the NW corner of East 6th Avenue and North Maple Street has a long tradition of being thoroughly decked out for the holidays.

107 East 9th, by request.

The Houston Whiteside Historical District has a number of decorated homes. This one, at Plum Street and First Avenue, features a talking, singing automated Santa  (a weather resistant version of a Gemmy Industries Santa). The district is roughly 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.

Other Sites of Note

Cargill's grain elevator near 3rd Ave and K-61 features a decades-old star. See more in this blog post. I remember in the 1970s one could see stars atop grain elevators in the distance all over the place. This is not the case anymore.

Hutchinson Community College has a Merry Christmas sign and star atop Lockman Hall, visible along the east side of North Plum Street just north of East 11th Ave. If you're lucky enough to have snow, you can have some fun photographing this as there's an electronic message sign just out of frame that lends various colors to the snow. I opted for a moment with deep blue.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 1602 North Main Street, displays a life-size Nativity set that was passed on to it from the now-defunct Peques Department store, downtown.

The First Presbyterian Church at 201 East Sherman has star patterns made of lights atop its tower. Here's a wider view.

The Medicine Shop at 1401 North Main Street, a wonderful bit of local architecture, is outlined with red lights again this year.

South Hutchinson

The Barretts at 204 South Walnut in South Hutchinson have illuminated their home in a fashion that draws attention from hwy 96. There is also a speaker on the lawn playing Christmas music from a local radio station. Last year Santa was available there on certain nights. I'll update this with is schedule for 2015.

The City Building of South Hutchinson at 7 South Main Street has erected a sort of pole tree on its roof.

The tall apartment building behind the old Alco building has a star atop.


A residence at 455 Justice has the same great display in 2015 as they've had the last two years.

Moving north up the same block of Justice is a span of four houses extends to 431 Justice.

Christmas Events Yet to Come

The Fox will show the film, Gremlins, on Christmas day at 7:30 p.m.

(publicity photo)

According to its website, the Kansas Cosmosphere will show The Polar Express in its digital dome theatre on December 18-21, 23, 26 and January 3. It's best to call 800 397-0330, extension 312 for confirmation and details.

Events of Christmas Past

The 2015 Hutchinson Christmas parade happened November 21. The Cosmosphere brought their space shuttle float. For a general sense of the parade, see my 2014 recording. For some other past Christmas parade adventures, see these tales of a dinosaur and a muffler man head. In 2007 I looked at signs along the parade route and in 2008 I looked at people.

The Hyde Park luminaria was held the night of December 19. The annual event started in 1983 and now spreads over 36 blocks - east to west from Main to Monroe and north to south from 23rd to 18th.

There are usually buggy rides.

For more info and pictures see Hyde Park Luminaria in Hutchinson and The Hyde Park Luminaria, 2012.

Third Thursday, December 17, offered a live nativity at the Eagle Media Center Park, 9th and Main, while downtown there was an Ugly Christmas sweater contest.

Stage 9 presented a series of one act plays titled 4 XMAS with times from December 10-20. See their website for details.

 The Reno County Museum had an Old Fashioned Christmas with crafts for children on December 12 and a cookie decorating event on December 17.

A Prairie Nutcracker was performed at The Fox Theatre December 11-13.

There were carriage rides downtown on December 12.

Kids decorated gingerbread houses at Memorial Hall on December 19. See this link for details.

First Church of the Nazarene at North Monroe and 43rd Streets presented its Seasons of Light pageant earlier this month.

Ace Jackalope (for whom this blog was started) and I wish you a Merry Christmas. I'll be adding to this post regularly. If you have any suggestions for events or displays that should be noted here, please comment or write me at

See also:

Perennial Christmas Lights of Wichita, Kansas

Pittsburg, KS, Christmas Lights, 2015

Joplin, MO, Christmas Lights and Events, 2015

Christmas Lights of Webb City, Missouri - updated for 2015

Carthage, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Oronogo, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015


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