Weather blamed for decorations left up

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Christmas was almost three months ago, but you can still spot Christmas decorations still around town.  Several homeowners said they haven’t been able to take down the rest of the decorations because of the extremely harsh winter.

On Tuesday, a NewsChannel 15 crew spotted countless homes with at least Christmas lights still along roof gutters, a large “Merry Christmas” sign, a Santa Claus with his reindeer on a rooftop, and a 200-pound Santa statue, among several other kinds of decorations.

“Too much snow,” Larry Baker, who still has decorations up at his house, said.  “Everything’s frozen to the ground.  Got to wait for it to thaw, and that’s why everything is still up.”

Baker, who usually puts away his decorations a few days into January, said he wanted to wait until it reached 70 degrees before putting things away.

Steve Weber has a small snowman statue next to his front door, but said he was ready to see that, and all the other decorations finally boxed up.  “People need to go out and pick it up,” he said.  “That’s probably why we had snow for so long.”

Weber and his daughter put away the snowman Tuesday afternoon.  “I told my wife weeks ago to get that thing away,” he jokingly said.  “She wouldn’t listen to me.  It’s been explained to me that the snowman is not just a Christmas decoration, it’s more of a winter decoration, so he gets some leeway.”

Weber also joked that it would be nice to see spring decorations put out the day after Christmas, in hopes of bringing an early spring.

Anyone who has visited Franke Park has seen that displays from the annual Fantasy of Lights are still up.  AWS Foundation Executive Director Lynne Gilmore said only one display was still up as of Tuesday.

“This year we’ve been delayed and hampered by the weather, Gilmore said.  “We still have the skaters on the pond.  It’s frozen to the ground.  We can’t move it at all.”

The Fantasy of Lights ended on New Year’s Eve.

Gilmore said the foundation, which runs the Fantasy of Lights, has an agreement with the city’s parks department to use the park for the display, and pick everything up as soon as the weather allows.  If the weather holds up, the last display will be taken down some time next week.

For anyone who is tired of looking at the decorations, not much can be done, other than avoid looking at them.  A city councilman said there are currently no ordinances in place that forces people to take down decorations by a certain date.

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