Lone decoration is all that’s left after MoDOT takes down Christmas lights, but there’s hope they’ll be back

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PARKVILLE, Mo. -- There are holiday decorations all around downtown Parkville, and business owners in the area say decorating trees along a desolate stretch of highway leading into town puts everyone in a festive spirit, but those decorations were taken down Wednesday and many were left searching for ways to get them back.

No one is sure who exactly decorates the trees between Parkville and Riverside, but many people in the area look forward to seeing the work of elves, who overnight make the scenery special.

Unfortunately there was a bit of confusion this year, and some say they were shocked to see four big MoDOT maintenance trucks on the roadway Wednesday, with crews that might as well have been yelling, "Bah humbug," as they pulled down the ornaments.

MoDOT then left small signs that said that the decorations amounted to unauthorized signage along the highway and created a safety hazard.

According to the note, there's concern that ornaments could blow off trees, create obstacles on the pavement or distract drivers enough to cause crashes.

People in Parkville said they would like to reach a compromise with the state so they can continue their tradition, and MoDOT appears to be working on a compromise. Thursday afternoon a spokesperson for MoDOT said they are working on a permit to allow the decoration to return to Parkville.

The residents FOX 4 spoke to said they believe decorations are far enough removed from the pavement not to cause a hazard.

Courtesy: Brian Hill

Courtesy: Brian Hill Hill sent FOX 4 these pictures and said "Here is the tree we decorated along 9 Highway in Parkville last year." Hill, his fiancée Jennifer Bowlin, and 2 of our children...Clara Murphy, Thomas Murphy