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North Pole will close for good this year
by Jason Collins
Dec 20, 2013 | 128 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — The long-standing tradition of the North Pole in Bee County is coming to a close.

Ronnie Jones said he and his parents have been doing it for 35 years and the extensive amount of time to set up and take down the decorations has become too much.

“It is easily 1,000 to 2,000 man-hours just to put it up,” Jones said.

Volunteers are plentiful but still, it takes their coordination and time to ensure everything is placed correctly.

This tradition began in 1978 and has been growing and expanding at the Jones home on Chaparral Trail in the High Country Estates subdivision off Farm-to-Market Road 2824.

It began because of Ronnie’s brother Jimmy.

Jimmy suffered from severe cerebral palsy.

He was unable to walk and talk but communicated primarily with his eyes — which is why he loved Christmas lights.

The family began simply enough with lights and a couple of displays.

That first display was of Santa Claus, which would also be a favorite for Jimmy.

Through the years, the decorations expanded.

Many of the objects are animated. Motors come from old washing machines and fans.

“My dad loves to see the kids’ faces light up,” Ronnie said.

But, with his father’s health waning, it is time that the lights be turned off.

“I am going to be sad also,” Ronnie said. “I have done this since I was 10.”

And that means the family must be out there every night to make sure everything is running.

Even on Thursday, Ronnie speculated his dad was out in the yard straightening decorations blown over by the wind.

“Most of the figurines are 35 years old,” he said. “It is just constant maintenance.”

Santa will continue to come out through Christmas Eve for those youngsters wanting to give him their wish lists.

The last day for the display is New Year’s Eve.
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