PLACES: Christmas Lights

By Beacon Staff

In a little neighborhood off Two Mile Drive west of downtown Kalispell holiday spirit stirs this time of year. And it results in thousands of twinkling colored lights.

“When I first moved into our home we had the Christmas lights up before any other boxes were unpacked,” said Steve Morgan, one of the avid decorators on Konley Avenue.

While passing Morgan’s home it is imperative to stop and, no matter how chilly the night air, roll down the windows. The hundreds of lights are synchronized by an electronic box and dance to the music.

As “into it” as Morgan gets, one neighbor stands out above the rest. Around the corner is the home of Dan Hodge, or “Mr. Christmas,” according to Morgan. Hodge goes all out with animated characters, including a helicopter with rotating blades and elves shooting a basket. The decorations are handmade and adorned by Hodge, who as of last week was still soldering together lights in his kitchen.

What’s great about the neighborhood is that so many people participate. With no streetlamps to impede the glow, the neighborhood is a perfect place to look at lights. Most homes around the looped Konley and Westview drives are decorated. Morgan said in years past he’s counted 250 cars an hour. For people cruising the neighborhood, be courteous but enjoy the show.

How to get there: Turn west off North Meridian Road onto Two Mile Drive in Kalispell. Konley and Wesview drives come up on the north side of the road after about one mile. They both loop back to Two Mile Drive.

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