Children and adults have to come to expect the Christmas model train scene in the McDuffee Hardware Store window in Crowville.
Model trains have been pleasing crowds and circling their route since 1978 and in the window since 2013, and to Roy McDuffee it is more than a train set but a labor of love.
“Sometimes you get these engines to run and sometimes you can’t,” said McDuffie. “Right now, it is running pretty smooth.”
McDuffie, owner of the model train set, has a few volunteers, including his grandsons Josh and Jarrod Donnell, and Renee Ward, helping him out. The Donnells assist McDuffie in technical issues with their background in engineering and Ward decorates the south window in a festival holiday motif.
Through the years, tracks, switches and engines have been replaced but McDuffie and his helpers have kept trains going in the circular path through miniature towns and countrysides delighting the annual crowds.
In the set’s beginning, it was for his son, Brad McDuffie. The display dominated his room and later was stored in the hardware building until receiving its second life as a window display and bringing Christmas joy to those around it.
People from as far away as West Monroe come and watch the little trains which are displayed nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“People come here every night when it is on,” McDuffie said.
As long as people come seeking a little Christmas spirit, the trains will be running at McDuffie’s Hardware Store window.