This NFL-Themed Christmas Display Is Even Too Much for Hometown Fans

Seattleites appreciate the spirit of the "Hawk House," but there's a limit.

ByABC News
December 4, 2015, 2:12 PM

— -- A Washington state man is working with city officials to tone down his Christmas light display after a flurry of complaints by neighbors.

"It is an unusual situation in which we've had a holiday display that's turned into a nightly event in the community," Michael Cogle, deputy director of the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department, said of the Seattle Seahawks-themed exhibit, known as “The Hawk House.”

It poses a safety risk and brings undue traffic to the quiet, suburban neighborhood, prompting complaints from the neighbors, Cogle told ABC News.

But homeowner Anthony Mish, 35, said the complaints stem from a miscommunication about the timing of his fifth annual nightly lightshow after he was filmed for an episode of ABC's upcoming show "The Great Christmas Light Fight" weeks ago.

"The music was going until two in the morning," Mish told ABC News. "I warned neighbors they were coming and said hotels were offering night stays, but I think people thought it would be like this all the time."

The Hawk House runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The single-family home is decked with 175,000 lights synchronized to original music played from speakers in the trees in Mish's yard.

The display also features a custom-made Seahawks logo that stands 35-by-14 feet by Mish himself. Inside, visitors can admire Mish's more traditional Christmas decorations. The football fan said he also brings out a Seahawks Santa for family photos and collects "truckloads" of food and toy donations for Hopelink and Toys for Tots, respectively.

"People who wouldn't normally come together would be like, 'Go Hawks!'" Mish said. "Everyone comes together wearing a Seahawks jersey and Christmas kind of does the same thing."

PHOTO: Anthony Mish said many visitors prefer the traditional decorations inside his home rather than his football themed exterior.
Anthony Mish said many visitors prefer the traditional decorations inside his home rather than his football themed exterior.

But Mish said he put the lights at Hawk House on static and turned off the music Tuesday after hearing about the backlash. Cogle said the city appreciates Mish's contribution to the community, but he will have to compromise.

"He's interested in trying to find a happy medium and make sure public safety needs are met," Cogle said of Mish.

The director said city representatives and Mish discussed reducing Hawk House's hours or days of operation, increasing traffic signage throughout the narrow streets and, potentially, changing venues next year because ofthe heavy influx of people.

"They come from both directions," Cogle said. "There are people driving by who are slowing down to look at the lights and listen to the music that accompanies it. Ideally, we'd like traffic to go in one direction."

Cogle said Hawk House fans have also parked in Mish's neighbors' driveways. Mish said he and his friends try to reserve those spaces with traffic cones.

The homeowner said the department is not going through its formal special events permit process because the Hawk House display is already up.

"We should have a revised plan that he will be implementing and ready to go for the weekend," Cogle said. "What we will do is monitor to see how that improves."

Mish’s episode of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" will air Dec. 21.