Holiday Lights: The Coach House in Scottsdale

Christmas decorations are kind of a big deal each year at the Coach House in Scottsdale. So much so that the staff at the historic tavern started setting up the day after Halloween. 

Such an head start is necessary, consider the massive amount of festive decorations that are involved. Practically every inch of the Coach House's exterior and interior is adorned with colored bulbs, cheery wrapping paper, bulbous ornaments, and shiny tinsel. It's been an annual tradition of the Bower family, which has run the rustic-looking dive since it opened in 1959 and has decorated the joint for more than 25 years.

The Numbers: 

Strands: According to Irene Bower (one of the many proprietors of the Coach House) more than 250, which works out to around 12,500 individual lights.

Inflatables: One, a gigantic Santa in his sleigh is perched on the roof.

Other decorations: A total of 25 strands of garland, 100 square feet of wrapping paper, 50 candy canes, and more than 200 ornaments are featured inside the Coach House.

The estimated electric bill: Irene believes they spend around $1,500 per month to power the lights.

Why do you decorate? "My father [Jim Brower] always loved putting up decorations at the bar every year. His birthday was on Christmas Eve, so it really was a special holiday for him," she says. "My brother expanded things in 1985 and started putting up all the wrapping paper and the ornaments. Each year its morphed into more lights and more decorations."

The Coach House's annual Holiday Toy Drive will take place Friday through Sunday (click here for more info). The Christmas lights will be on display until February 5. Daily hours are 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.