News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 25, 2013

Deck the downtown: 10,000 lights, 30-foot tree go up along Wabash Avenue

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Holiday colors of red and green brightened Wabash Avenue Monday morning as volunteers from two energy companies and the Terre Haute city police collaborated to install lighted decorations.

“This is our ninth year of doing this, putting up about 68 ornaments,” said Duke Energy spokesman Rick Burger.

Duke Energy had two trucks and four men, while Win Energy assisted with one truck and two men, all volunteers. In addition, the Terre Haute Police Department assisted the effort with traffic control.

“With the Miracle on 7th Street coming up in a couple of weeks, this just adds to the community spirit, that Christmas spirit,” Burger said.

Brady Meadors, owner of Holiday Lights Pro and Precision Lawn, said there are about 10,000 light bulbs on the ornaments that stretch from Third Street east to Ninth Street along Wabash Avenue.

“Our company, we check the bulbs and the decorations, checking the plugs, then bring them out here for Duke Energy [and Win Energy] to hang,” Meadors said. “We come back in January and take them all down.

“These lights are something everyone gets to see and enjoy for the holiday season,” Meadors said.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the city provides access to the light poles, and city police cars are used to provide traffic control and safety for electrical workers as they install the decorations.

“It is an exciting time of the year to get the decorations up and get the downtown ready for Christmas as we move into the holiday season,” Bennett said.

In addition, a nearly 30-foot “Miracle Tree” was erected along Wabash Avenue in the Crossroad Plaza next to The Ohio Building Meeting and Banquet Center’s downtown parking garage. Employees of Misco Crane lifted the tree into position. Win Energy employees then strung the tree with lights.

“This is in preparation of the fifth annual Miracle on 7th Street,” said Terry Hogan, a board member of the event. “We have to test the lights before the event.”

The tree’s lights will be turned on at 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 6 with a visit from Santa, he said.

That event closes Seventh Street from Wabash Avenue to Ohio Street, and Wabash Avenue is closed between Seventh to Eighth streets, with heated tents placed for vendors. Wabash Avenue is also lined with 20 Christmas trees decorated as part of a contest for nonprofit organizations, Hogan said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@