Festive light displays are never far away in Ahwatukee Foothills.
Several families prepare all year to set up a display sure to amaze. Frank Polimene calls his display the Santa Train at his house, 541 E. Mountain Sky Ave. He has a train carrying candy canes for the kids and several automated characters. This year, Polimene has redone his mountain and built a new tree for the display with 5,000 LED lights in all four colors. The tree and snowflakes are in sync to music when guests tune their radios to 98.1 FM.
The family always accepts monetary donations from those visiting their display. They match those donations and send a check to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, they passed out almost 12,000 candy canes and at the end of the season they sent a $646 check to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Polimene said this year candy canes have gotten more expensive, but their family continues to get more visitors each year.
“It’s still worthwhile though seeing the smiles on little ones faces,” he said.
Chuck and Patty Henry also have a display set to music at their home, 15244 S. 36th Place, with more than 25,000 lights. Guests can tune their radios to 106.7 FM for the 30-minute show from 6 to 11 p.m. nightly through New Years Day.
This year the couple has added new songs, thousands more lights, and a handmade life-sized version of Santa’s sleigh complete with presents and Santa.
Eleanor Marsh’s home, at 4802 E. Paiute St., owner of While You’r Away Services, is decorated again this year with a yard full of animals. Doug Maldonado’s home at 16806 S. 24th Place will be covered in holiday inflatables again this year.
Neighbors on South Fork Drive near Chandler Boulevard and 31st Street all decorated their homes for the season. The result is a street full of lights that shouldn’t be missed.
Steve Ferguson owns one of the homes on South Fork and said years ago it was coordinated that everyone would decorate. Over time different homeowners have moved in and out, but the tradition keeps going. His house features trees that dance to music and a naughty and nice list with names of real kids in the neighborhood.
Each year the Taylor family, at 3611 E. Kachina Drive, invites neighborhood kids to come over in November and help paint wooden cutouts of popular characters that are then added to their Christmas display. This year the cast of “Toy Story” can be seen. The side yard of the home has lights that dance to music, which is played from the yard.
Visitors can walk through the driveway, take a photo with Santa or in the elves cutout and talk with the family who is usually sitting out front every weekend night.
“We have met so many people over the years,” said Kim Taylor. “It is a labor of love, but every time when someone comes by and tells us how many years they have been coming by, or seeing a kid’s eyes light up, it makes our day.”
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