Kansas Neighbors Meet Over Christmas Display Problems

Some Prairie Village residents are crying “bah humbug” over Mike Babick’s elaborate Christmas display.

Babick still plans to flip the switch Thanksgiving week on the twinkling lights and animated figures sprawled over his home and yard. But neighbors will meet Wednesday night with police to discuss their concerns about traffic congestion and crowd control.

Crowds are drawn to the animated Santas, penguins, elves and other figures. Babick estimates 250,000 people drove or walked by his home during last year’s holiday season. Babick has been decorating his home in the 7600 block of Falmouth Street for more than four decades.

And those crowds tromp over lawns and park in no-parking zones, Babick’s neighbors say. They want to discuss practical solutions with the Prairie Village Police Department.

For its part, the police department says it doesn’t have the resources to deal with the avalanche of complaints about no-parking zone violations between Thanksgiving night and New Year’s.

The public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Prairie Village City Council Chambers.

The display runs through New Year’s Day. Babick switches on the lights around dusk each night. He turns them off around 10 p.m. on week nights and as late as midnight on weekends, he said.

Babick recently told the Johnson County Sun that he has even more animated figures for this year’s display.

“Once I get more complaints, it inspires me to do more for next year. It’s a personal challenge, and I like a challenge,” Babick told the newspaper.

Traffic already is only allowed to drive one-way in front of Babick’s home because of the crowds.

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