Everybody has their own favorite part of the holiday season. For some, it’s gingerbread cookies or the latest gadgets wrapped under the tree. For others, it is the twinkling lights of holiday decorations on the houses around their neighborhood. As a special treat to those who love holiday lights, residents of the Region were invited aboard festive trolleys to enjoy the holiday decorations at the annual Crown Point Tour of Lights.
“This has been a tradition in Crown Point,” Diana Bosse, the Special Events Administrator of Crown Point, said. “This has been something to really get the community involved. We get people to sign up their homes, decorate, and go all-out.”
Eight Crown Point families decorated their houses with lights, inflatables, and decorations and entered the yearly contest to see who had the best holiday home. Members of the community were invited to climb on a trolley and see the sights, casting their votes for their favorite home along the way.
“It’s just something to get the community out to have some fun!” Bosse said. “It’s a free event that the community can come out and enjoy.”
The City of Crown Point partnered with the Crown Point Library to feature a special story time as guests waited for their trolley. Julie Wendorf, Director of Crown Point Library, read hilarious holiday tales as the children eagerly nibbled on the complimentary cookies and sipped on their hot cocoa.
“We appreciate the library,” Bosse said. “They do a great job getting the kids excited about Christmas and the holidays, and they are a great partner for the city.”
The appreciation for their partnership was mutual.
“We just love partnering with the community,” Wendorf said. “I love being out here. We like to see the people that we might not see in the library, so it’s a great way for us to reach out to the community who may not be coming to the library already.”
Kids could hardly contain their laughter as Wendorf read hysterical holiday stories of mischievous holiday animals and Old Saint Nick’s undergarments.
“We spend all year looking for funny stories. We only do funny stories, so it’s really kind of a tradition to look for the best Christmas books all year long for the next story time,” Wendorf said. “One that seems to be the favorite is ‘Elfie Selfie’ which is about an elf selfie contest. “Pig the Elf,” is about a selfish pug who wants all the presents for himself. ‘Santa’s Underwear’ is always a hit. Any book with underwear is always a winner with kids.”
When the children finally calmed down from their giggles, families climbed on to the heated trolleys to enjoy the spectacular sights of eight Crown Point homes. Competitors took their entries very seriously, coming up with enchanting, original, and impressive displays. The Blech Family of Greenbriar Court spent around 50 hours creating their masterpiece of over 18,000 incandescent lights. The riders were handed ballots to vote for their favorite. Some riders voted for the icicle lights on South Court Street or the over 4,500 lights put up by the Oller family on East 130th Avenue. Other riders appreciated the Griswold-inspired display on Wells Street. While each rider had their own personal favorite decoration, all enjoyed the variety and the detail of the displays.
The trolleys also made one special, honorary stop along their route. Candy Cane Lane has been a favorite for holiday-light-lovers for decades. Each year, the residents of Holton Ridge decorate the entire street for Christmas. The tradition, which has continued for over 56 years, has become a highlight for Crown Point residents every year.
The residents making these displays certainly had their work cut out for them if they wanted to win the best in show prize. The winner of the competition will be announced at the January City Council meeting and will receive a set of Marty Moose mugs.
The Crown Point Tour of Lights has quickly become an annual tradition for residents of the Region, selling out tickets over a week before the event. Those who missed their chance on the trolley need not be sour. Crown Point has graciously offered a map of the homes on the route to be available for download on their website.
To find out more about the City of Crown Point and upcoming events, please visit https://www.crownpoint.in.gov.