Hearne: Will Prairie Village Go Dark This Holiday Season Along With Father Christmas?

It’s official, or all but official…

For the first time in 48 years, longtime Prairie Village Christmas display maestro Mike Babick will not be decorating his home at 7611 Falmouth.

Not unless he gets a last minute stay of execution by this coming week, which Babick says is highly unlikely.

But there’s more…

Since Prairie Village’s new ordinance went into effect that states “any attraction or display that draws huge numbers of people will not be issued a permit,” Babick says, he hasn’t seen hide nor hair of any holiday lighting on commercial buildings. Buildings that usually by this time in past years would be festooned with lights and ready to Jingle Bell Rock.

“There are no lights at all on either of the two shopping centers in Prairie Village,” Babick says. “And they should have started putting them up around the middle of October. Now why they haven’t I don’t know. I’ve been trying to find out for the past three weeks.”

Macy’s, Hen House – all bare, Babick says.

“I haven’t seen one light strung this year,” he says. “It looks like they’ll have to get permission too.

“I mean, blocking Christmas in Prairie Village? Omigod.”

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25 Responses to Hearne: Will Prairie Village Go Dark This Holiday Season Along With Father Christmas?

  1. Scoop says:

    So does this mean it’s “lights out” for Candy Cane Lane in the 7900 block of Outlook, a holiday tradition since 1958? If so, Santa won’t be happy!

  2. PucKChaser says:

    No, because Candy Cane Lane is a circle drive and all neighbors are on board. The ordinance is Mr. Babick is a neighborhood ganging up on one guy.

  3. Super Dave says:

    I posted this about a month ago on this issue and will repost it here for those who have not seen it.

    Well it appears the Prairie Village POLICE department is going to decide who gets to do what for the Christmas holidays. As I read the ordinance if the Police Chief or any officer hates Christmas you are in deep trouble. Yes it appears that Christmas is canceled in Prairie Village because the ordinance is so vague in so many areas of what a resident can’t and can do anymore. As well, what they can charge you is very vague so hope you have deep pockets because it could be costly. In short it appears the ordinance was written in such a matter that it is going to be such an ordeal to do people will just not do so. So many will just not do anything I am guessing and even if you think it isn’t too much as I said if the police department has it in for you they will shut you down. Oh you can appeal it and they have it set up so that by the time you may get an appeal the holidays and your holiday cheer will be gone.

    But wait it gets better. This ordinance that is supposed to be about the protection of the people and property as they would want you to believe includes Halloween as well. In fact is in effect all year long so careful out there in your holiday planning of any kind.

    Now I guess if you want to do an awesome holiday display and show it for no more than 5 days you can knock yourself out and do that with no issues.

    So it appears the city police department maybe is more behind this ordinance than anyone else. So next time you see Chief Jordon be sure and thank him for taking a good part of your holiday cheer away. Some displays have become a holiday tradition that has been in some families for over forty years just might not be around anymore.

    It appears a few residents of Prairie Village are upset with the new ordinance but I am willing to bet in the end they will not unite and do anything about it. That’s the problem now days our government just keeps taking away our rights and abilities to do things and everybody just sits around and does nothing.

    So I ask are the people of Prairie Village this time going to let Christmas be dictated as to how it will be celebrated by them by the leaders of Prairie Village?

    The ball is in your court my friends.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      Well said. If people won’t fight bad and/or poorly written ordinances through the judicial process they ought to at least work to elect people that can and will fix the problem via the legislative process.

      If PV residents continue to elect city council members that perpetuate this garbage then they get what they deserve.

  4. Super Dave says:

    PucKChaser, it makes no difference where they are located in the city limits of Prairie Village and if neighbors on board or not. All displays of more than a few lights have to be ok’ed by the city based upon a information sheet you fill out and give to the police dept.

  5. harley says:

    mike….go big or go home.
    p.v. is full of jerks.
    I’d put up all the decorators and put about 50 statues of jesus and moses out there.
    They won’t touch it!!!!
    call bill oreilly…he’ll go big time on the story.
    you have the right…its your property. If people want to drive by so be it…

  6. mike says:

    Just another example of government overreaching. The elected officials need to be reminded that they are there to serve us, not the other way around.

  7. Markus Aurelius says:

    Hey Babick, move on up to the Northland. We still have holiday cheer up here. Let the JoCo grinches enjoy their winter of discontent and darkness.

  8. Markus Aurelius says:

    Hey Hearne, what’s with the “Bullet Force” reference on the new mast? Is that supposed to be hip, clever, funny, all of the above? Did I miss some kind of pop culture meme here? Is it going to be part of a broader marketing scheme and/or face of the site? Inquiring minds want to know.

  9. paulwilsonkc says:

    Clearly, Prairie Village, the PV Police, ugly neighbors, all HATE the 6lb 7 oz Baby Jesus.

    Bringing BULLET FORCE clarity to what the real issue really is. They don’t make Jews like Jesus Anymore, to quote Kinky Freidman. You can’t go hat’in on the Christ child; its not in good form.

  10. kansas karl says:

    Actually if there were more religious references he would have a leg to stand on, PV got their ass handed to them by a anti war sign on Roe at 63rd, the ACLU got involved because of the political speech, Babick could get those wackadoodle Family Values folks to help. PV will not go to the mattresses to win a religious rights battle.

  11. paulwilsonkc says:

    KK, on a more honest note, I could see their point if I was a neighbor. Its got to be hell getting in and out of your house while thats going on!! Sooner or later thats got to get pretty old and I’d likely have a hard time keeping my ever so cheery holiday spirit while fighting the 1,000’s of cars!

    • Reggin Tnuc says:

      Mr. Paul, you have hit the nail on the head. This is a public safety, public nuisance issue. How many of us would like to be Mr. Babick’s neighbors? Would you like to take 90 minutes to make what is normally a 15 minute drive to the grocery store on a Friday or Saturday night? What if an ambulance needed to get to you? This is a most unfortunate situation where the cause and effect of reality must be given consideration not to mention consideration for your neighbors and neighborhood.

      • the dude says:

        I don’t think I would want to be his next door neighbor come November and December but to write an ordinance for one person is sheer stupidity. I have noticed like Hearne said none of the neighborhood shopping centers have put their lights up or probably will. They don’t care to fight the Christmas decoration Stazi with BULLET FORCE.

  12. Paulwilsonkc says:

    RT, my goal, in all I do, is to hit the nail on the head with BULLET FORCE. But as they say, when you’re a HAMMER, the whole world looks like a nail!


  13. J-Mo says:

    KK – His display includes a fabulous life-sized nativity with moving figures. I remember as a child being mesmerized when Mary seemed to look over at me. I took my kids to visit the “cartoon house” (As my Dad referred to it because of the very old-time cartoons on the roof, many of which had gone years ago.) And it wouldn’t be wackadoodle to stand up for someone’s freedom. I would love to be Mr. Babick’s neighbor.

    All my Prairie Village brothers and sisters should begin now to set up your total house decoration complete with computerized lights, blow up lawn displays and music broadcasts. Civil disobedience to the point that enforcement is impossible and renders this silly ordinance a scoff law is what we need now.

  14. Tom Dhooge says:

    Candy cane lane is in Overland Park so the rules in PV don’t apply

  15. Tom Dhooge says:

    He has bee doing this for many years. People who move in on the block know this is going on. They should have thought of it before moving in. Mike I am so sorry This has Happened to you I have been coming to see this every year since I was a kid. God bless and try to have a great Christmas despite the Grinch’s in your neighborhood and the city.

  16. Goose13 says:

    I used to live down the street from Mr. Babick. He is the one of the nicest men in the world. My wife had a garage sale, and he came down just to introduce himself. The police should have ticked the drivers of the cars, buses and van’s. PV would have made more money that way. Plus all of the drunk people pissing in the yards and throwing trash. More tickets, more revenue. PV just lost out on that one. To punish Mr. Babick is just plain stupid. Way to bring in the holiday cheer Prairie Village.

  17. Grace Babick says:

    Thank you to everyone who has supported and been by my grandfathers side through this.. We very much appreciate it, however, unfortunately there are VERY mean and cruel people who live around my grandpa and they are the cause for all of this mess. I am very displeased with the prairie village city counsel, how do they explain Christmas to their children..? I bet 90% of the city counsel has brought their children to grandpas display.. This is very upsetting to me and my family.. My grandfather does not drserve this, all he was doing was bringing Happiness to families of all ages, newborn to senior.. I on the other hand am still trying to figure out how to tell my 2 sons, one who will be 2 in april and my youngest who isnt even 4 months old yet, why Christmas was cancelled.. My youngest hasn’t even got to experience the joy of Christmas yet, and my entire family was looking forward to having him see all the lights and sounds.. Prairie Village needs to make an answer to tell my babies why they have done such terrible things, and they can look and see the sadness in their eyes, so i dont have to.. Just to let everyone know, you cannot ruin Christmas for The Babicks, we are a very string family and im sorry to tell you but you cant keep us down.. For everyone who is supporting my grandfather thank you so much, and as to the people TRYING to bring us down, well its not working.. MERRY CHRISTMAS & KEEP BELIEVING… 🙂

  18. patric says:

    All I know is that my cousins live a few houses down from Mr. Babick. Every year my family gets together and the one thing my daughter, who is 5 now, loves to see is his amazing display. I agree that PV should have ticketed the drivers, drunks, and litterers instead of writing an insane ordinance. I mean, is there so much crime in PV that they can’t spare one or two patrols to watch the neighborhood and stop all the idiots that ruin it for all of us who love the holidays? Your tax dollars at work PV. To Mr. Babick, my family and I love the display. I am saddened to know we won’t be enjoying it this year. Stay strong Mr. Babick and from my family to yours have a wonderful holiday season.

  19. 7529 Falmouth says:

    I moved in knowing what I was getting into and loved the idea. To be part of a tradition is important. Loved it! I am so sad that it isn’t happening. Planning a counter display but am concerned that I will be fined. Thanks PV for ruining Xmas.

  20. Two house south for almost 30 years says:

    This is such a bunch of crap!!! Now I lived two houses south of Mike for almost 30 years before we moved and not because of this display in the late 80’s or early 90’s. We were the original neighbors of the display. We and many other neighbors supported it as it truly wasn’t a problem, but on a rare occasion a slight traffic delay of a few minutes but not into the double digits as stated.

    In fact less then a five neighbors had of issue, but if they lived on your street or neighborhood they would find something to complain about. Some people just like their 15 minutes of perceived fame, power and with the hopes they can accomplish something. Really, urination, drunks and trash was again non as Mile and his family walked the street and cleaned up trash if needed.

    Think about it, hey kids lets get drunk and go to a family Christmas display and why were at lets watch dad pee in public and let’s clean the trash out of our car. Really??

    Now let’s just see what the few complain about next???

    It’s a tradition- if you won’t or can’t do your display then hang just “One” very bright light bulb out on the highest part of a tree centered in your front yard with a sign that states: “REALLY, THINK ABOUT IT”

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