Lighted Spirit

Historic Newburgh decks the halls for another year of competitive decorating

After a successful inaugural season in 2022, Newburgh, Indiana’s second decorating contest kicks off just in time for the holidays. With a friendly competitive spirit, homes and throughout the city limits go for gold to see who has the best seasonal displays.

Historic Newburgh Inc. — the nonprofit responsible for decorating Downtown Newburgh — puts on the event, in which residents and businesses submit their holiday decorations for consideration, naming and detailing their theme. Then, each submission goes online for the public to vote for their favorites.

“The goal is to get tourism in our area. We love our little town, and we want our little town to look beautiful.” says Troy Wells, HNI’s executive director.

Six businesses and 10 homes participated, mixing giant gingerbread men and laser light shows with cascades of lights and classic twists of garland. This year, Wells hopes for 20 contest participants, and the public groundswell supports it: He estimates 3,000 votes were cast last year.

Many of the homes also participate in Newburgh’s annual Holiday Tour, when passersby can view the historic homes in a seasonal glow. It’s not unusual for residents to see their neighbors’ decorations and up the ante, leading to a spirited holiday extravaganza.

“I like seeing the competition come out in people,” Wells says.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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