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Chmielewski display

For the past 12 years people from around the area have stopped by the Alan Chmielewski home on Kennedy Avenue and 23rd Street in Bismarck to make a Christmas memory. Chmielewski said it takes nearly a dozen family members more than two months to set up the annual Chmielewski Christmas lights display that he said can draw up to 1000 people of all ages on any given night. The Chmielewskis took down the display Friday after hearing about complaints from a neighbor. For more photographs go to

It's a sight to see in Bismarck every Christmas but this season could be its last.

Thousands of visitors over the years have stopped by the house on Kennedy Avenue covered with strings of Christmas lights, complete with a toy roller coaster, a neon-lit Ferris wheel and music.

But the Chmielewski's home will no longer be the Christmas capital in Bismarck, according to the Chmielewski's Christmas Corner's Facebook page.

A post on Saturday said the Christmas lights were to be turned off by 11 p.m. at night, rather than midnight on the weekends.

"Unfortunately we have a neighbor in our area who is not impressed by any of it and we have to start shutting down by 11 each night," the post read. "She has complained and we have been informed we can't leave the lights on any later."

The Bismarck Police Department and the city of Bismarck have said there have been no formal complaints or reports made about the lights.

On Monday, the Chmielewskis announced the lights would be no more.

"At this time we had to make a decision if something we (were) doing was not making someone happy but the opposite then we as a family should not do it," a messaged response to a reporter inquiry, signed by the Chmielewski family, said. "It is not only right and respectful to close it down, we hold no hard feelings everyone is entitled to (their) feelings."

The announcement on Facebook has drawn outrage from residents, some calling the neighbor who allegedly complained "Grinch" and "Scrooge," others thanking the family for their putting up the light each year and some urging them to continue the tradition.

"So sad! We come from Watford City to see your display. We need more folks like you in this world it would be a much happier place," one person wrote.

The Chmielewskis — Alan, Kathy and their children AJ, Jacob, Joshua and Alysha — and others decorate their home with lights weeks before Christmas. A majority of the decorations are handmade.

The display typically comes down shortly after the New Year. In a comment on Facebook, the Chmielewskis said they might leave it up a couple days longer.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or


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