A rare moment on Thanksgiving evening, 2009, when no one was standing in front of Mike Babick's Christmas display.
It was a real pleasure presenting one of my favorite Christmas Traditions - Mike Babick's animated Christmas display at his home on Falmouth Drive in Prairie Village, Kansas. He had been decorating since 1968, and I visited the house every Christmas season since 1992. It was the biggest tourist attraction in a community with few attractions.But in September 2012, Prairie Village enacted an ordinance targeted at this display and making it too expensive for Mike Babick to continue the tradition.
Every window of the Babick home was filled with animated Christmas characters, The exterior was skillfully lighted, the garage is Santa's toy shop with dozens more animated figures, and the roof was covered with a cartoon town with buildings than once had animated lighting. If you stepped up to the front door and looked into the house, you found Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling and even more moving figures filling the walls of the living room.
But the memorable Comicville on the Babick roof did not appear during the final 3 years. A hail storm following the 2008 Christmas ruined "Comicville." For 2009, Mike Babick replaced it with a three dimensional animated town which included buildings which were 3.5 - 4 feet tall. The buildings were filled with mechanical people that were visible through the windows.
From Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, the display continued from dusk until around 11PM each evening. Mr. Babick didn't turn off the lights until no one was around for about 15 minutes. During the early evening, there were always several car loads of people, plus limousines and an occasional bus. So many vehicles went up this otherwise quiet residential street, that it is one way, and evening parking is prohibited in front of the Babick house. This was the biggest attraction in Prairie Village.
The vehicles parked up the street and everyone went up to the house to look in the windows. By the end of the Christmas season, there was no grass left in the front yard. Visitors often hd the opportunity to meet Mike Babick or members of his family.
One of the things I loved most about Mike Babick's Christmas display was that it changed and grew every year. One of the new things for the final year (2011) was a mail box to leave letters to Santa.
copyright 2007-2014 by Keith Stokes