February 27, 2017
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NOW: 38°
HI 46 / LO 38

Get Out: Let there be lights!!!

And Santas and reindeer and skating penguins, too


12
By Elizabeth Snyder
esnyder@kenoshanews.com


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What’s the best part about all this recent snow we’ve had?

It makes the holiday lights look gorgeous! Really, is there a prettier sight than Christmas lights shining through freshly fallen snow? It’s the kind of stuff they write songs about .... “walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland.”

Once again, residents in Kenosha County are chasing away the dark winter nights with an abundance of Christmas decorations.

Here’s a brief overview of this year’s hot spots for lights — but keep in mind this is only a portion of the holiday lights that can be seen all over Kenosha County. There’s no way we could possibly cover all the lights displays, but we have fun trying:

North side (Harvey Elementary School area)

The 1700 block of 21st Avenue again features lots of lights. Another bright spot: the corner house at 19th Street and 21st Avenue, with its whole yard decorated.

The house at 1909 19th Ave. glows with the Christmas spirit. Look for Santa on the roof — and a tree of lights — at 1866 20th Ave. The house on the corner of 19th Street and 21st Avenue has a beautifully lit front yard.

Heading south from here, I always stop by 3920 18th Ave., which has a very colorful yard, filled with inflatables and nicely done lights. Head north from here on 18th Avenue for more lights. Also on 18th Avenue, head north at 18th Street for plenty of lights.

Other hot spots in this area: 24th Street, east of 22nd Avenue; the dead-end street of 21st Avenue north of 18th Street. You’ll find an impressive Nativity scene here. And look for the cascading icicles on the front of the house at 20th Avenue and 18th Street.

Make sure to drive by the Petretti Apartments on 18th Street, between 22nd and 30th avenues. The trees out front are lit up beautifully each holiday season.

North side (St. Peter Catholic Church area)

On 27th Street heading east from 30th Avenue, you’ll find a neighborhood that definitely is into outdoor decorating. (Good thing, too, since this is my old stomping grounds. It wouldn’t look right if my childhood neighborhood didn’t decorate, would it?)

Another big area for lights is 24th Street. Just head east from 30th Avenue and keep on going.

The new area of homes at 22nd Street east of 30th Avenue is also a good spot for lights viewing. Don’t miss the two houses at 22nd Street and 30th Avenue — and how could you miss them with all their lights? Also, check out the outlined homes in the cul-de-sac at 22nd Place and 28th Avenue.

On 30th Avenue, go east on 34th Street for a nicely lit Nativity scene on the corner, and more lights here heading east.

Northside Library area

This new neighborhood, near the library at 1500 27th Ave., has several houses that light up the winter nights.

Head south on 25th Avenue from 15th Place for lights. The house at 1616 25th Ave. is all lit up, with lights in the front and back yards. Continue east on 25th Avenue to the cul-de-sac for more lights and some beautifully lighted deer.

Hunter’s Ridge area

In this subdivision, at Highway L (18th Street) and 30th Avenue, there are two must-see homes.

The first “Wow!”house — in the cul-de-sac at 36th Avenue and 16th Street — is outlined in colorful lights, with a yard filled with decorations. This “Griswold house,” which can probably be seen from the International Space Station, is also collecting donations of food and pet food. Houses just north of the cul-de-sac are decked out, too.

The other big stop here is at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 17th Street, where Dennis and Natalie Troha have for several years filled their yard with several lighted sculptures.

Make sure to stop a few houses north of the Troha home to see one of the city’s most elegant Nativity scenes, beautifully lit in the front yard.

Near the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, houses along 40th Avenue heading north from 15th Street are ready for the holidays, with 1324 40th Ave. shining brightly, as are the neighboring houses.

On 39th Avenue between Highway E (12th Street) and 15th Street, you’ll find several nice light displays.

Somers

Drive around the area between 41st and 47th avenues (north of Highway L) for lots of lights. Also in this area, pull into the cul-de-sac at 15th Street and 45th Avenue to see a really cute wooden Nativity scene.

Plenty of homes in Maple Ridge Estates, at 100th Avenue just south of Highway E (12th Street) are decorated. For more lights, drive through the homes in the Hawthorn Creek subdivision, at 65th Avenue and Highway E. Also on Highway E, turn into 45th Avenue, heading south, for some impressive lighting displays. (Make sure you drive all the way to the cul-de-sac for a very bright yard.)

And you can’t miss the lighted Nativity on Highway L — best seen looking east from Green Bay Road.

Near the lake

On Sheridan Road, check out the brightly lit front yard just north of 37th Street (across the street from St. Catherine Commons).

On 10th Avenue, head north from 80th Street for lots of lights on this festive street.

The old Manor House, at 6536 Third Ave., is dressed for the holidays, while the house at 6717 Third Ave. is an explosion of lights. Look for the lighted front porch on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street.

On Seventh Avenue near 50th Street, enjoy the lighted trees outside the Boathouse Pub.

Christmas Lane

The area around Christmas Lane — in the 6000-6200 blocks of 68th and 69th streets and the surrounding area — once again features its annual holiday light show.

If you cruise Christmas Lane, check out the nearby streets, which also contain several — in fact, more — lavishly decorated homes.

On Christmas Lane itself, at 60th Avenue and 68th Street, say hi to Santa in his sleigh (and inside the big front window) at 6122 68th St. There’s a shivering snowman at 6128 68th St. and a forest of trees-of-lights at 6134 68th St. (Note: Christmas Lane is again collecting non-perishable food items for the Shalom Center. Look for the two drop-off sites.)

When you’re leaving Christmas Lane, head east on 68th Street because this next block is about 90 percent decorated.

South side subdivisions

Check out homes in the Golden Meadows Subdivison, at 65th Street and 88th Avenue heading west, and the Rolling Meadows Subdivision on 65th Street, east off of 88th Avenue, for lots of lights.

Want still more lights? Go into the Prairie Ridge Estates Subdivision east on 82nd Street off of 104th Avenue.

From here, head south on Cooper Road (52nd Avenue) and you’ll see a house covered in lights on your way to the River Oaks Subdivision off Wilmot Road (Highway C) and 107th Avenue. Take a drive around the private lake for some nice lights.

More south side

Once again, the folks at 7951 33rd Ave. are lighting up the whole area, with the yard, driveway and house lined with different decorations. They do a great job each year of making everything look like it belongs together.

During the several years I’ve been on the “Christmas lights beat” for the paper, I’ve received more calls about this house than any other. Lights must be contagious; the whole street here gets into the fun.

On 80th Street, head north on 28th Avenue, 25th Avenue and 25th Court for lots of lights. The house at 2507 79th St. sports a wooden sign that puts “joy” into the holiday. Look for the inflatable Santa and his sleigh on the corner of 80th Street and 25th Court, while across the street, Santa rides in a helicopter.

More lights can be found at the corner of 85th Street and 20th Avenue, and on 22nd Avenue between 80th and 85th streets. On 80th Street, head south on 47th Court for lots of lights. On 85th Street, look for lots of lights east of 47th Avenue.

Like a holiday lawn party, one display sure to get your attention is at 7945 46th Ave. across from Lance Middle School. The oversized corner lot is filled with lights and colors.

White Caps

This western Kenosha County subdivision used to be a hot spot for looking at lights.

This year, however, it’s a lot darker in White Caps than in holidays past. Still, it’s worth a visit.

To start your White Caps tour, enter the subdivision at 94th Avenue off 75th Street. Take the first left, on 74th Place, for a yard filled with lights. Head west on 73rd Street off of 94th Avenue for more lights.

You’ll find a holiday house worthy of Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation” on the cul-de-sac at 64th Street and 103rd Avenue. The house and yard are outlined in lights, and all the windows are also lighted.

From White Caps, head west into the Horizons (and River Crossing) subdivisions west of 104th Avenue for more lights — especially at 64th Street and 107th Avenue. And robots have invaded at 106th Avenue and 61st Street.

Still need more lights? Then just keep driving around until you run out of gas or you head home for some cookies and hot chocolate. Merry Christmas!

Don’t just look at lights ... make it a game!

It always sounds like a fun activity — taking the kids around town to see the various holiday displays. But then someone gets bored and the bickering starts ...

To help keep the peace and to make a Lights Tour more interactive, we’ve come up with some fun holiday games to play:

* Holiday Word Builder: Pick a word, any word. OK, not just ANY word. Pick a word that is holiday related. Say “Holiday.” Now, every time you spot a holiday decoration that starts with a letter in that word, you fill it in until you’ve spelled out “holiday.” Let’s start with the “H,” which is pretty tough. However, I did see a Hello Kitty inflatable. We would also accept “house,” which could be a manger in a Nativity scene. For the “O,” look for Olaf from “Frozen.” See how this works? “L” could be lights (easy!), “I” is for icicle lights or an igloo, “D” is for a dinosaur, dog or (rein)deer, “A” is for angel and “Y” is for a Yeti (also known as a Bumble from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”).

* “Punch Bug!”: Put a holiday twist on this old favorite by punching your brother — lightly! — every time you spot Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

* “I Spy”: Start off a sentence with “I spy something red ...” and see how long it takes for your mom to guess “Santa’s suit.”

* Snow Much Fun: Belt out the first line of “Frosty the Snowman” every time you spot a snowman in a holiday display ... and when that gives everyone in the car a headache, play a game we adults call “Let’s Be Quiet Until We Get Home and Have Some Ice Cream.”

— Liz Snyder

It’s showtime: Lighting displays set to music

One of the biggest trends in outdoor holiday lighting in recent years is coordinating those lights to music. Here are some of the places in Kenosha County where choreography was added to light shows:

* Just east of Christmas Lane, the Heuser family’s Christmas light show features six songs repeated with lights dancing to the music at 5827 68th St. Enjoy the music from your car on 89.3 FM. This is the third year for their DIY light show, which they emphasize, “we made from scratch.”

* James and Carri Kiehl at 6834 106th Ave., boast some 30,000 lights animated to 35 songs. This is the ninth year for their light/music show.

The light show begins Thanksgiving night and runs through New Year’s Eve. The lights show is broadcast from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. To hear the music, tune your car radio to 101.3 FM.

* Randy Barnes has his lights coordinated to 107.1 FM at 3517 16th Ave. Barnes adds more colors and new songs to the display each year. His wife tells us he really enjoys putting this together every year for people to come by and enjoy.

* On the north side of Kenosha, check out the show at 1839 18th Ave. — complete with three dinosaurs and a Santa monkey!

* Also on the north side, the Weathersby family at 1416 40th Ave. — whose house is always brightly decorated — is coordinating the decorations to music. A highlight of the annual display is the mechanical elf workshop with animated figures. You’ll also find a light tunnel over the driveway and a 12-foot tall snowman family.

* Stephen Territo has lights (including a giant Santa face on the front of his house!) and music going at 7410 155th Court. Here are links to YouTube videos — but it’s always better to see in person. youtu.be/yy4dbWj_Y8c and youtu.be/rqjagdNSD84.

Kenosha News readers send in their favorite holiday lights:

Every year we ask Kenosha News readers to help us out in highlighting local lighting displays, and every year you come through. Thanks! Here’s this year’s list of reader suggestions:

* Lots of people mentioned the bright house at 3915 16th Ave. in Kenosha.

* Jeffrey J. Szulczewski says to make sure to check out 211 87th St. in Pleasant Prairie’s Carol Beach. He even sends us directions (which are helpful in the twisty Carol beach streets!): “Go south or north on Seventh Avenue, turn east on 85th street, and road turns to the right, which is Third Avenue.

“Two intersections to the south, turn left, and you can’t miss the second house from the corner as you leave the darkness entering beautiful lights.

“Santa welcomes you as you drive by the display,” he says, “which includes white lights all over the house and the trees, Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeer, a Nativity scene, a Holiday Express Train and Frosty bidding you safe travels as you drive off.”

* A caller alerted us to the house at 5635 46th Ave., which he said “is designed to look good in the daytime and after dark — with lots of handmade items.”

He also likes a nearby house on Pershing Boulevard, between 53rd and 55th streets, advising people to “drive by at night to see lots and lots of lights.”

* Carol Matteucci says, “My husband is very proud of his decorating skills at 2014 23rd St. Santa and the bumble snow monster are joined by Rudolph, Hermie and Yukon Cornelius — along with lots of lights.”

* Cheryl Hannah told us, “My husband decorates every year. This year, I think he did a wonderful job. House lights, yard items and my favorite sleigh on the porch. We live at 3426 87th Place.”

* We were also told about the “Heuser Christmas light show” at 5827 68th St., just east of Christmas Lane.

* Also near Christmas Lane, Patrick Quick says not to miss the house at 6925 64th Ave.

* Check out the house at 2103 79th St.

* On the north side of Kenosha, check out the lights at 1823 31st St.

* Also on the north side, the folks at 3920 18th Ave. have “decorated for over 30 years,” a reader tells us, adding new stuff every year.

* We also received notes about the lights at 1835 18th Ave. and 1839 18th Ave. on the northside.

* The house at 404 49th Ave. (north of Petrifying Springs Park) features an entire yard in white lights.

* Another reader tells us, “The house on 11878 25th Court and the house across from them are absolutely breathtaking! They are hidden gems in Pleasant Prairie!”

* The house at 7945 46th Ave. has “more than 15,000 lights,” according to a reader.


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