News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 15, 2012

Lighting up Downtown: Decoration project rings in the holiday season in Terre Haute

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays, as twinkling lights and tinsel ornaments were hung in downtown Terre Haute on Wednesday.

In an all-day project to brighten the Wabash Avenue corridor through downtown, volunteers teamed with the city and Duke Energy to decorate lamp posts from Third to Tenth streets.

“This is something we enjoy doing,” said Brent Meadors, president of The Holiday Light Pros. “It’s a lot of fun.”

He and a crew of four employees checked the decorations on Tuesday, replacing burned out bulbs.

Each of the more than 70 decorations — colorful candles, holly and gift boxes — has more than 100 lights. That adds up to more than 7,000 twinkling lights added to downtown in one day.

A crew from Duke Energy donated their lift trucks and time to hang the decorations along the slim black lampposts lining Wabash Avenue. Some decorations were also hung along Seventh Street.

With Rick Burger of Duke Energy and Mayor Duke Bennett overseeing the project, the effort got off to a quick start. Officers from the Terre Haute Police Department directed traffic and provided safe areas for the work crews.

Duke Energy has assisted with the project for about eight years, Burger said, storing the decorations during the non-holiday season at the Duke facility on Home Avenue.

“We just look at it as a way to give back to this community,” Burger said. “It’s a great community. And having these lights up really brings the downtown alive for the holidays.”

Bennett agreed.

“It’s time to get into the holiday spirit,” Bennett said. “We’ve had so much growth downtown, and positive things, and everyone gets excited with the start of the Christmas season.”

Funding for the decorations was raised by the Wabash Valley Community Foundation through its Cityscape fund. Any businesses or individuals wanting to contribute to the purchase of new decorations can direct funds to the Cityscape fund in care of the foundation, 2901 Ohio Boulevard, Suite 153, Terre Haute, 47803.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com.

Follow her on Twitter@TribStarLisa.