Shining Bright: homes dressed in light displays
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Chance Family Christmas Drive-Through opens Thanksgiving night, November 25, 2021 and is open daily through Christmas Day. You can find the display at 15379 SE. 20h Street, about four miles west of Cheney on MacArthur, in eastern Kingman County.
The free display is open daily to the public. The family asks that visitors bring non-perishable food items to benefit Union Rescue Mission and the Cheney Emergency Fund Food Pantry. An on-site collection bin is provided if no attendant is available.
The owner, Marty Chance of Cheney, hand-designed and constructed the quarter-mile-long display. Features include large scenes such as church and carolers 26 feet wide and 17 feet tall, a Santa Claus and reindeer display that is 20 feet high and 50 feet long, and a 25x14-foot fountain display of an ice skater.
Chance has been hand designing these displays for several years as a hobby. He said he wanted turn it into an opportunity to bring a little Christmas joy to the community and provide a place to collect food items benefiting two charities.
Chance said setting up for the Chance Family Christmas display takes about 400 hours in an effort that starts in September.
He said the months of work “bring back a lot of childhood memories for most people.”
“Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?” Chance said.
The display started last year after a life-changing event.
Two-and-a-half years ago, I had a medical issue, I had a stroke. I’ve been a race car driver all my life and when they let me out of the hospital they said. ‘Mr. Chance, you’re extremely lucky, You’re going to make a full recovery. With one exemption, you can never drive your race cars again.’”
Chance traded adrenaline for craftsmanship.
“Pretty drastic,” he said. “I think a lot of the racing community (thought) I lost my mind.”
Chance isn’t alone in flipping the switch to light up his home in lumens of color. For a dozen years, Clayton Gossett’s blinding symphony has been drawing crowds to his central Wichita home, Lights on Longview Lane at 3805 Longview Lane.
“I started really small. I started with one controller. Now I have like 30 lightorama controllers,” Gossett said.
While it’s hard to compete with what Chance and Gossett have created, Gossett said if you’re putting together a display for your home, make sure to stay safe.
“I do a lot of this by myself and you’ve got to make sure your ladder is wedged against something or making sure someone is around and knows you’re getting up on the roof,” he said.
Gossett said he also goes around regularly and looks for any damage to his display from the elements. Most importantly, his advice is just to have fun.
“It’s all about having a good time,” he said.
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