WaKeeney North Pole – WaKeeney, Kansas - Atlas Obscura

WaKeeney North Pole

WaKeeney, Kansas

The holiday spirit lingers year-round in the "Christmas City of the High Plains." 


Directly off Main Street, a vacant lot has been converted into WaKeeney’s year-round North Pole. Adorned with peeling murals, rusted sculptures, and a metal shed dubbed “Santa’s Workshop,” the North Pole is a striking sight at the height of summer.

Eccentric, enthusiastic, and occasionally eerie, the town is aptly known as the “Christmas City of the High Plains.” It’s been proudly touting its festive cheer since the 1950s.

The town puts on an extravagant winter light show each winter. The tradition began after two local businessmen began putting on what was claimed to be the largest Christmas display between Denver and Kansas City.

From late November up until the New Year, a four-block stretch in the town center transforms into an enchanting sliver of cozy holiday fun. More than 6,000 twinkling lights stretch across the streets, and a 35-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree stands like the star of the show.

Even when the lights and Christmas tree come down, the holiday spirit continues to linger thanks to the permanent decorations at the North Pole. But it feels much stranger to stumble upon the murals and sculptures when it’s 98 degrees outside.

When in the area, you can also admire the thematic little Christmas trees that line the street leading from the highway to the North Pole.

Know Before You Go

The North Pole lot is located in the 100-198 block of Main Street and is very easy to see while driving on the street. As of September 2020, you can’t walk through the North Pole area as it’s being renovated for a new Santa House.  You can still look in from the sidewalk.

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April 20, 2018

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