Christmas in Tinley Park, It’s All About The Lights
Big News from 2019
A competition was started by news station ABC 7 around the time that this blog article was originally posted back in 2017. It’s called The Great Chicago Light Fight which gives homes around the Chicagoland area the opportunity to compete for the best Christmas lights display. Not sure why it took this long, but the Kowalczyks have been creating a literal Winter Wonderland since 1990. Cars line up every December long to drive by or walk through the impressive lighting and lawn displays that take about 2 weeks to put up. This year (2019) they won the Great Chicago Light Fight and officially put Tinley Park on the map for the closest any of us will get to the North Pole. Because of the news coverage, there has been a lot of police presence directing traffic and making sure it doesn’t get too chaotic over at 17321 Avon Lane. Husband Dominic Kowalczyk is the owner of Construction Concepts of Illinois, a residential and commerical construction company. He is also the facility manager for the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre and Live Nation Concerts.
Want to go walking in a winter wonderland?
— Daily Southtown (@DailySouthtown) December 21, 2017
Tinley Park and the southwest suburbs become like a theme park of sorts during December. We’ve even made the news about it as you can see by that tweet above. Every December lists get posted online of the addresses of the most spectacularly decorated homes in the southwest Chicago suburbs (Kidslist and the Tinley Park Patch) and this year one home in Tinley Park was featured in two articles in the Chicago Tribune! One was entitled This Tinley Park house takes decking the halls to a whole new level and the other was entitled Tinley Park couple has once again ‘arranged’ to have Santa greet kids on their driveway. The sweetest story you’ll read this season though is about a man who dedicated his holiday display to his late wife. Suffice to say, Tinley Park won Christmas this year by sheer exposure.
In the northwest suburbs I had never heard of people driving around the neighborhood to see other people’s Christmas light decorations. You’d be walking around your neighborhood and happen to see a really festively decorated house, but down here it’s an event!
The streets where there are a higher concentration of majorly decorated homes become packed, lined with cars, bumper-to-bumper. It’s a chance to get out of the house, but more importantly I think this collective activity fosters a sense of community. Kids may not play outside as much as they used to these days, people may be less social and more hesitant to trust others, but when you’re all outside marveling at someone’s decorated home during Christmas, the invisible ice between people melts, if only for a few moments.
I remember back when my husband and I were dating, back in December 2012, his parents drove us around town after Christmas Eve church mass to see the really major homes that went all out with their Christmas light decorations. I don’t remember the address exactly, but this one house was like the It’s a Small World ride at Disney. I seriously don’t know how their next-door neighbors ever got to sleep because the house, the lawn, every square inch of the property was lit so bright that you could land a plane without issue. That home’s lights filled the entire street at night as if it was broad daylight. The experience made an impression on me, and low and behold I am now living in Tinley Park, just a couple miles from that house.