Annual Chicago Street lighting set to start Thursday night.
Turns out there are some perks to not being mayor.
Former Mayor Steve Steiner has had more time to sort through, check and organize lights and displays for this year’s Chicago Street Christmas lighting display. That’s good news for those who fear that one of the displays might flicker out or simply not work.
“I’ve had extra time to go through the stuff, to check it, make sure it all works,” Steiner said. “The last few years, getting home later at night...It makes it hard.”
Drawing an estimated 70,000 viewers from Thanksgiving evening until Dec. 31, the Chicago Street lighting display has become a synonymous symbol of Blue Springs Christmas. Back when Steiner started it (modestly with one display in 1982), he had little idea that it would catch on and become as popular as it has.
“It’s something people here and throughout the metro area look forward to,” he said.
At 5:30 p.m. Thanksgiving evening, Steiner will flip the switch for about 60 displays spread along a near mile’s worth of Chicago Street homes. The display begins at Missouri 7 and Walnut Street, extends east to 4th Street, south to Chicago Street, east to 1st Street, south to South Avenue and then back west towards Missouri 7.
Displays include Christmas toyland, animal themes, trains, singers and Biblical stories. On Fourth and Chicago streets, viewers will witness displays like Traditional Christmas Story and The Life of Christ, displays that depict the shepherds, wise men, angels, sheep, nativity and key scenes from the life of Jesus.
The display will turn on automatically at 5:30 p.m. each night and turn off at about midnight.
By late last week, many of the displays and the hardware had been delivered to each property. Most homeowners erect the displays themselves, but Steiner and others, including area Boy Scouts, help if they’re needed.
“My father’s helping this year, too,” he said.
Mr. Steiner, senior, is 80.
“He can still do the work,” Steiner said.
While there are no new displays this year, there may be some displays that, missing in action for years, will return.
“Having time to go through all the displays has allowed me to drag nearly everything out this year, stuff that hasn’t been out for a while,” he said.
More than 20 local charities and organizations benefit from the event. At the end of the season last year, nearly $15,000 was raised.