News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 11, 2012

Snowmen Scouts

Boy Scout Troop 200 claims top honors in 2012 Christmas in the Park

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A brightly lit, animated scene of life-sized snowmen playing, camping and having a snowball fight took first prize at this year’s Christmas in the Park decorating contest.

Boy Scout Troop 200, frequent winners of the annual Deming Park contest, put together the display that took the $2,000 grand prize.

“The snowball fight was pretty nice,” said Yonah Wasik, one of several Boy Scouts in the Torner Center on Monday night for the awarding of the prizes.

In all, up to 30 scouts or scout leaders helped on the project, said Mike Chambers, scout master for the troop.

Last year’s winners, the Wabash Valley Master Gardeners, came away with the $1,500 second-place prize this year. Third place was awarded to the Terre Haute Fire Department, a strong finish for a group that returned to Christmas in the Park only last year.

A lot of people and a lot of work went into the THFD’s “Remembering the Children” display, said Glen Hall, a firefighter and an organizer of the effort. The $1,000 third prize will be applied to the department’s annual toy drive for kids, he said.

“There was a good group” of firefighters, friends and family that worked on the display, Hall said.

The Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, whose display was “The Girl Scout Express: Celebrating 100 Years,” placed fourth in the contest and once again captured the $100 Peoples’ Choice award, which is determined by votes cast at the park.

Fifth place went to Terre Haute North Vigo High School’s display, “Hawaii Bound.” Sixth, with “Santa’s Redneck Christmas,” was awarded to Frontier Communications, whose display was made to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The remaining 13 displays were each awarded $500 and given honorable mention awards.

“Everybody did a beautiful job,” said Sally Whitehurst of First Financial Bank, which sponsors Christmas in the Park along with the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Tribune-Star, Pepsi and the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department.

The three event judges, Bob Baesler of Baesler’s Market, Deb Ringo of the Vigo County YMCA and Brandon Halleck of Chances for Youth, said it was tough to pick a winner from so many excellent displays. The use of lights and the overall creativity of the Boy Scout’s display was very impressive, they said.

n The decorated shelters will remain on display from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night through Dec. 26.

n “Holiday Express” train rides for $1 will be available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and also on Dec. 21, weather permitting.

n Photos with Santa Claus in the Santa House, costing $1 and sponsored by Walmart, will also be available from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Parents may also bring their own cameras. There is no charge for kids to visit Santa.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis

Having a ball: Snowmen playing hockey and in a snowball fight are part of the Boy Scout troop 200 Christmas in the Park display in Deming park this year.

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis

Rudolph and friends: Frontier Communications teamed up with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to create a “Redneck Christmas” for visitors to Deming Park.

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis

Go ask Alice: The Ryves Youth Center display has characters from “Alice in Wonderland” as the basis for its Christmas in the Park shelter in Deming Park.

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis

Off season: Delta Theta Tau sorority put up a Christmas in the Park display showing what Santa and his helpers look like in their down time after the holiday season.