Thanksgiving often brings about mixed emotions: the joy of spending time with family, for instance, coupled with the stresses of cooking and hosting a big meal.
For Tim Dorr, Thanksgiving brings a mixture of excitement and anxiety, but neither have anything to do with the holiday itself.
For the third year in a row, Dorr will be lighting up his “Mayor’s Holiday Lights Display” at the Prairie Village pool, set up to be easily viewed from SM East’s senior parking lot.
The display, an impressive set of colorful light strings and characters choreographed to music that viewers can tune in to on their car radios, moved from the Dorr’s home in Prairie Village to the municipal grounds in 2011 after a neighbor on Fontana Street told the Dorrs the traffic their display was generating was bothering him. Since then, the display has been a holiday fixture visible from Mission Road, drawing thousands of spectators each year and raising donations for the Prairie Village Municipal Foundation.
Set up for this year’s display has been complicated by two factors. First, high winds have on two occasions blown over parts of the display, forcing Dorr and his crew to reconfigure the complicated electronics that power the visuals.
Second, Dorr and his wife actually moved from Prairie Village to Olathe earlier this year, which means Dorr won’t be able to do the daily check in on the display that had been his custom. Instead, Dorr and his son have set up an alert system that should inform Dorr if anything isn’t running properly — at which point he’ll drive in to see that the display is returned to proper function.
New to this year’s display are two animated snowmen having a fight. Dorr has also added five new songs to the lineup, bringing the total show to nine songs.
The light show will have its premier Thanksgiving at 5:30 p.m. The display will run 5:30 p.m. through midnight each night through December 31. It’s free (just pull up along the south edge of the SM East senior parking lot) but donations are encouraged (the li’l elves will tell you where to put the donation).