Holiday villages crop up in Loomis

Kelley family's Christmas towns delight the grankids
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Russ Kelley, of Loomis, spends weeks preparing his homes for Christmas – all 100-plus of them. He and his wife, Joyce, create holiday village displays with porcelain collectable houses they’ve acquired over the years. Kelley builds his own sets from cardboard, Styrofoam, papier mache and plaster. The Kelleys choose from their collection of more than 400 houses, shops and buildings to determine which will be included in their display. Russ places the houses, with Joyce’s assistance. Then Joyce sets up hundreds of accessories including porcelain people, animals, trees, lights and signs. “It’s a great partnership. It’s something we enjoy doing together,” he said. The village buildings have moving parts, lights and sometimes even running water. Kelley said the village delights his 1-, 4-, 9- and 14-year-old grandchildren. After all of that work, the Kelleys keep the village displays up until early February, so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Kelley, who serves as a council member for the Town of Loomis, retired after 27 years of working for Roseville Telephone and SureWest Communications.