And a very merry Kloewer Christmas to all!

Categories: Christmastime

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I've been making the pilgrimage every Christmastime to the Kloewer family home on Elati Street, just north of Belleview, for at least the last eleven years, and this is why: Being Jewish and all, it doesn't really feel like Christmas until I've immersed myself in some sort of urban electric madness...even if I don't get there until after Christmas is over, as it happened this year. Ever since I was a twelve-year-old kid walking home from a friend's house in the December dark, I've been drawn to the light, and I still, to this day, remember fondly a certain house with wild decorations on East Bails Place that used to brighten the trek.

Writer Harrison Fletcher captured it pretty well when he wrote about the Kloewers in Westword in 2000, but it can't be truly experienced until it's done live, bundled against the chill, wandering among the hordes of gawkers and children, amazed by the sheer nuts of it all: the intertwining garden trains, the twirling Barbie dolls, the cases upon themed cases of teddy bears and toys. So, here's a walk-through. And you still have a couple days to behold the wonder yourself: Visit the Kloewers from 5 to 10 p.m., through New Year's Day. After that, the switch turns off and -- good for the Kloewers -- the electric bill goes down.

The Kloewers' son lives down the street, where he joins in the madness every year.

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The Kloewer corner lot on fire.

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Let the dioramas unfold! There's something for everyone.

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