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Holiday fever on Fifth Street

Neighbors have tradition of decorating

December 6, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

When Jerry and Sheila Bachman moved to South Fifth Street three years ago, they found themselves right at home during the holiday season.

The couple loves to decorate their home and lawn for the Christmas season, and they fit right in with the rest of their neighbors on Fifth Street between Ingledue and Olive streets in Marshalltown.

"I'm a Christmas freak," said Sheila Bachman.

Article Photos

Jerry and Sheila Bachman stand amid their holiday decorations at their home 1603 S. Fifth Street in Marshalltown. Fifth Street between Ingledue and Olive streets has a tradition of decorating for the holidays and its giant Christmas card displays.

The Bachmans, who live at 1603 S. Fifth St., have a display which features a lighted polar bear, angel, snowman, and several other decorations.

Their display, along with several others on the road, includes a Christmas greeting painted on a piece of wood, which looks like an oversized holiday card.

Residents of the street started the card display tradition in the 1980s, according to longtime resident Lenora Brown. One day, when a group of neighbors had a summer picnic, they thought they should do something special for Christmas. One of the residents saw a type of Christmas card display at another area town.

"We thought 'Why don't we do something like that?'" Brown said.

Now the 1400 through 1600 blocks of South Fifth Street have become a holiday decorating tradition and a destination for those looking to get in the holiday spirit. Cars will creep by slow at night and city buses and the Iowa Veterans Home buses are known to visit the stretch of road each season.

"People go out of their way to come down this street," Brown said.

Aside from the cards on display, there are several other unique decorations on the stretch of road. One house has a small holiday ferris wheel and another has a giant, inflatable snow globe.

The Bachmans also have their share of unique decorations and through the years their collection has grown. They also have a music box playing Christmas songs to add to the experience for visitors.

"We've just kept gaining every year," said Jerry Bachman. "We enjoy it."



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