BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The man behind some of the Kansas City metro’s most famed animated Christmas light displays is back at it again.
Steve Steiner created Blue Springs Chicago Street Lights, Buckner’s Holiday display and even helped Christmas in the Park get off the ground. Now neighbors’ Christmas spirit helped bring the 69-year-old out of retirement.
Right off Missouri 7 Highway just North of Colbern Road, there are nearly three dozen animated displays around the Chapman Farms neighborhood, each with a personal connection to the homeowner.
If your family was a fan of Christmas lights, chances are you made it out to Chicago Street in Blue Springs between 1980 and 2012.
“A few times a year we would drive through really slow, really packed, really busy,” Kimberly Clark recalled.
“Chicago Street was a destination point. We had several hundred thousand people see it through the years,” Steiner said.
But after 32 years Steiner gave his display to the city of Buckner, Missouri.
“I thought I was out of that phase, I said Lord I’m out of it,” Steiner said.
Then in 2017 he moved to Chapman Farms, a subdivision where he said almost every rooftop was lined with lights. So he decided to make one more display in front of his home. Clark immediately recognized the man behind the Chicago Street lights must be living in her neighborhood.
“How they move what he could do with the lights how he makes them work I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“Then the next year I started getting requests and I said I’m going to need to get some help.”
Last year he recruited Brayden Wilson, then 13, from the neighborhood who seemed to take special interest in the displays.
“He’s very smart he’s very creative too. We brainstorm and he gives me some ideas, hmm a fountain we could do that,” he said of one of their creations.
They’ve created scenes from Harry Potter, Star Wars and Kansas City and the Chiefs. Each takes about 3-4 days to create.
“This year we put together another 12-13 scenes and I’ve got a waiting list now. I counted 13 more as of last night,” Steiner said.
Now it seems the man with a legacy of Metro lights has passed the ball just like a display from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce to someone 55 years his younger, with plans to carry on for decades himself.
“We tells stories out here. So I think I will continue to really inspire people and show them what Christmas is like,” Wilson said.
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