A basement decorated with a miniature Christmas Village is a sight to see when the trains are running, and skiing is happening while all the village is aglow. Gary Pelley, aka Rooster, spends hours each year setting up tables full of the village miniatures he has collected over the years. There will be an Open House for the community to see the whole collection set up o December 9th from 1-5 PM and December 10 from 1-4 PM.
Gary started doing the village about 25 years ago for his nephews and nieces with about 7 pieces. He says it has grown ever since. “Many of the buildings are gifts, mostly from my family, but most are when I see something and get inspired. I like to buy things from where I’ve been, but that’s not always easy. I love Idaho and try to think of my incorporating mountains such as the Sawtooths,” says Gary. This year he will have a building that plays the Nutcracker Suite. He is putting the finishing touches on a building that resembles one in Crouch, saying, “I am having a glass sign made that says Crouch Community Hall.”
The only place he uses batteries are for the small lights that he places across the tops of some of the houses. The lights from inside the houses are Christmas tree lights that are strung along. He then covers up the wiring with snow drifts. He can easily use about 18-20 batteries, but he says that they tend to last most of the season. Gary explains, “I turn on the lights when someone is coming to see the village, but sometimes at night I turn them all on and walk around and enjoy them all by myself. A little crazy, I’m sure, but I smile a lot.”
Directions to the Christmas Village Open House is to follow the Middlefork Road north out of Crouch. Go about 6.5 to 7 miles and turn right onto River Ranch Road. The village is at 37 River Ranch Road. Call Gary at 462-2895 for more information.
Written by Janet Juroch