Central Iowa Neighborhoods Light Up the Night

by Sandy Renshaw on December 21, 2007

Central Iowa has no shortage of light displays this time of year. Several area venues keep carloads – even bus loads – of visitors streaming through and benefit good causes. But the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart are those that show the warmth and unity of neighborhoods around Des Moines.

These residential light displays aren’t always picture perfect. At least they don’t seem that way to me. Whenever I see an illuminated inflatable snowman, I’m reminded of the StayPuft Marshmallow Man from the move Ghostbusters. And, worse, when the over-sized Frosty is leaning precariously over Baby Jesus – who by-the-way is just inches away from the sculptural reindeer, the lighted candy canes and the animated train scene – well, I just cringe. That is, until I remember that communities are made up of all kinds of people and tastes. While simple luminaries or icicle lights may cast the desired holiday glow for the couple next door, that may not be enough dazzle for the guy across the street. This is local color and it’s part of the charm and character of most neighborhoods.

With that in mind, I’ve begun plotting my holiday light excursion, detailed here. Please let me know if I’ve missed your street and feel free to share your favorite picks and pans.

Ankeny – The home at 2520 NE 97th Place features a light show with synchronized music (an eight minute show). Another residence at 222 N.E. 16th St boasts a Christmas light extravaganza (runs from 6 to 10 p.m., except on Saturdays.) Also experience lights along the 720 block of S.E. Richland in Ankeny.

Beaverdale – Neighborhood display includes the Church of the Open Bible on Beaver, Ashby Dr. and Ovid Ave.

Clive – Area around Country Club neighborhood

Grimes – The home at 200 N. Main St.

Johnston – The Green Meadows neighborhood off of 86th St

Urbandale – West of 86th St off of Meredith

West Des Moines – The Valley Junction business district on Fifth St.

Guest Writer: Brenda Friedrich is an Iowa-based writer and business communications consultant. You can also find her blogging at Enroute365.

Brenda Friedrich

[tags] Iowa, Des Moines, Des Moines News[/tags]

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