Candy canes were already taken.
But the residents of Firefly Street in Wichita decided they needed to do something to contribute to the glowing holiday vibe in their Christmas-famous neighborhood, home to the epic Candy Cane Lane.
Their idea: 15-foot reindeer.
Now Reindeer Road has added to the allure of the Deer Glen at Buckhorn neighborhood, near 119th and Central in west Wichita. On some nights, the line of cars stretches for 45 minutes to get a better look.
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Carol Jared-Brown and her neighbors got together during a summertime party two years ago and began to talk about what they wanted their street to look like during Christmas.
“Candy Cane Lane has already been done,” Jared-Brown said. “We wanted something different and huge.”
They settled on enormous reindeer. After searching online, Jared-Brown found a pattern, purchased it, and the work began.
Jared-Brown, with the help of her father, was the first to erect one of the large, white reindeer. It’s built with sheets of 3/4 inch plywood and stands 15 feet tall. She estimates it weighs around 400 pounds. Guide wires anchored into Jared-Brown’s yard keep the reindeer in place during windy Kansas days.
Recently, several of neighbors gathered over a couple of weekends to make as many of the reindeer as they could. Jared-Brown said someone would operate the saw and another person would handle the router while others applied the white paint. She estimated they were able to make four or five in one day.
“We had reindeer sitting all up and down the driveway that weekend,” she said. Now, approximately 20 homes on Firefly Lane have large, white reindeer in their front yards. There are four that are 15 feet tall. The rest are 9 feet tall. Each homeowner has done something to make their reindeer display unique. One sports a Hawaiian theme, another a super hero theme. Others represent Kansas universities. “I think it’s a little unspoken competition,” Jared-Brown said.
“We do like to see If we can’t out-do each other just a little bit.”
The creation of Reindeer Road has transformed Firefly Lane during the Christmas holiday, but in ways that weren’t expected, Jared-Brown said.
“As the season goes on, the only difficulty is getting in our own driveway when we come from work because we also have to sit in line with all the people coming and looking at the lights.”
Jared-Brown says people coming to the neighborhood, can expedite the process and make it smoother by following a few simple steps: Enter the neighborhood at Hickory Street, off of 119th just north of Central. View the lights at Candy Cane Lane first, and then make a right turn afterward to see Reindeer Road.
You won’t miss them, Jared-Brown said. “I think you can see the 15-foot reindeer from the sky,” she said.
And on Wednesday night, a helicopter circled her neighborhood to get a better look.