TORRINGTON – Anyone who has ever dreamed of getting a glimpse of the North Pole need look no further than 810 East 30th Ave. in Torrington. Scenes from Santa’s home, workshop, bake house, reindeer barn and the latest addition, the laundromat, in addition to a nativity scene, line the road, brimming with intricate details and welcoming smiles.
Last year, Eddie Juve purchased all but the nativity scene and laundromat from a Torrington resident she referred to as “Grandma Jan,” who had kept the dioramas in storage for about five years.
“I originally saw them when we moved to Torrington (in 2005),” Juve said. The dioramas disappeared until 2016, when she found them for sale on a social media site. Following a brief bidding war with a woman in Nebraska, Juve convinced Grandma Jan the holiday scenes should remain in Wyoming.
“I thought it was important they stay in Torrington,” Juve said. “It’s kind of a tradition.”
And it’s safe to say Juve soon caught the diorama bug. She built the nativity scene last year, and most recently, created Santa’s laundromat with the help of her sons, Hayden and Kyzer.
“These two kids always have a different perspective than adults,” Juve said. “They enjoy it – they could be up here all
Dubbed “North Pole Bubble Express”, the newest diorama is complete with moving elves, clear Christmas-bulb soap bubbles, an antique washing machine, steamer table, tiny clothes hanging out to dry and more – and the other Christmas scenes follow suit.
“It’s free for people to come and look. Park, gaze in and watch the elves work,” Juve, who learned to wire the dioramas herself by trial and error, said. “People have to keep coming back because they see something new every single time – they’re so detail-oriented, and that’s what I enjoy.
“Each one of these houses has a mouse hidden in there somewhere. If you look close, you’ll find him,” she added.
Juve said she begins working on the displays the first week in November, and the scenes go “live” the day after Thanksgiving. Residents have plenty of time to see the fruits of her labor, as she doesn’t plan to take the dioramas down until after the first week in January.
“The community has been very, very supportive,” Juve said, explaining several friends and community members had donated items for the displays. “I can’t tell you how many people have stopped (to view the dioramas) in November alone.”
In the future, Juve is going to continue adding to the holiday scenes. Ideally, she said she’d like to find a more centralized location to reach more people.
“I plan to continue doing this as long as I can,” Juve said. “I told my neighbor … I might have to encroach on the fence line – he said, ‘That’s fine. Just don’t cross my driveway.’”
Whether Santa’s Village stays on 30th Avenue or not, Juve will work to maintain and grow a community tradition she’s taken under her wing.
“I just hope people enjoy them,” she said. “Especially the children – just to see their little faces light up, it’s so neat.”