Allen Sylvester said the severe wind last week blew down a couple of the Christmas decorations in his front yard, but the damage remained minimal.

“We’re still tracking down some of the smaller bits that flew away,” Sylvester said. “But we’re still up and running.”

The Sylvester family’s light display, which is in the front yard of their home at 38913 Kansas Highway 99, is visible beginning after dusk. The display is timed to music, and visitors can set their car radios to 88.3 FM to pick up a variety of holiday tunes.

Sylvester, a science teacher at Wamego Middle School, said it’s his 14th year of hosting a light display set to music. His wife, Deborah, is a math teacher at the same middle school. He said he starts assembling the pieces in September.

“When you put it all together, there’s probably two and a half weeks or three weeks of solid work,” Sylvester said. “It’s a labor of love, absolutely.”

He said he regularly gets people who stop to watch the lights for a while before moving along. He said he counted 300 visitors one year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Deborah Sylvester said she counted at least 100 cars on Christmas Eve one year.

“The biggest night of course is Christmas Eve,” Allen Sylvester said, adding that he has an empty field adjacent to his property that he allows people to park in.

Jessica Kramer and her two daughters, 4-year-old Kaiya and 6-year-old Kinley, parked in the field for about 45 minutes Tuesday evening to watch the lights from the cargo area of her SUV. She said she’s been coming to the Sylvester family’s home to view the light display for seven years, or “longer than I’ve had the kids.”

“Lots of times we’ve come out, and the owners have come out and said hi,” Kramer said, “and it’s always a good crowd. It’s one of our favorite traditions.”

Holding a Sonic cup, Kaiya Kramer said ice cream was needed before going to look at Christmas lights.

“I got chocolate,” Kaiya said.

Kinley Kramer also got chocolate ice cream. She said she remembers seeing the light display “when I was a baby.”

“It’s the best show ever,” Kinley said.

Kinley said her family hasn’t put up their decorations yet “because of the tornado.” Holiday decorations across Manhattan and the region were scattered by severe weather last week, which included a brief tornado warning (but no actual tornado) and winds in excess of 70 miles per hour.

Sylvester said visiting his lighting display is “a nice COVID-free holiday activity.”

“You can bring your family, stay in the car, not get exposed to potential germs,” Sylvester said.

The Sylvester family holiday light display is at their yellow home on K-99, 3 miles south of Wamego and a half-mile north of the K-18/K-99 junction.

Other static displays can be found throughout Manhattan and surrounding communities, including a large light collection at a home just off K-18 on the eastern edge of Zeandale. For a light show synced to music, the University Christian Church at 2800 Claflin has a display that starts at 5:30 p.m. each evening.

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