Happy, Jolly Time of Lights in Capitol Heights

By on 15 December, 2017 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, at least in Capitol Heights! For decades the folks of Capitol Heights have chosen to celebrate this joyous season of the year as a community. When I first moved there in 1983, we decided to implement the Yuletide Decorating Contest. The entry rules were simple: just have the exterior of your house festively decorated for the holiday by a certain day and time. We selected judges from outside our neighborhood to avoid any look of impropriety. The next morning, we put the signs in the yards of the designated winners for all to see. We also sent photos of the winning houses to the newspaper so that folks outside the neighborhood could cruise through and enjoy our festive neighborhood. We even ended up with some new neighbors as folks moved to Capitol Heights because we looked like a fun place to live, and rightly so.

Through the decades our many neighborhood events have morphed to meet the needs of our “constituency.” Now, a panel of outside judges is invited to tour the neighborhood touring atop a mid-century seasonally-lit fire engine belonging to Glenn Crumpton. Glenn, his wife Jennifer, who acts as scribe, and friend Joey, who chauffeurs the merry group, assist the judges cruising up and down the festively lit streets of Capitol Heights. Since the judges are not familiar with the streets of Capitol Heights, I usually accompany the judges so we can get the correct addresses for the final awards. The judges are looking for creativity, spirit, and playfulness. It also doesn’t hurt if the family comes out and waves to the judges as we pass! And let me tell you — it’s about the best possible way to view holiday lights!

The truck is equipped with multiple flashing light displays, as well as a fairly loud speaker system that blares holiday music. After several loops around the neighborhood, the group returns for discussion and decisions on who the winners will be of the assorted decorating categories as well as to warm up, enjoy dinner and libations provided. These categories cover a gamut of tastes for holiday decorating: Creative Use of White Lights, Creative Use of Multi-Color Lights, Traditional, Reason for the Season, Spirit of Christmas, Best Use of Inflatables, Judges’ Favorite and a few Honorable Mentions, just because so many people decorate “outside the box” and really need to be recognized for their decorating time and efforts.

The group returns to the streets ceremoniously installing the signs in the winners’ lawn with much festivity for both the judges and the homeowners. From the modern communication tool of NextDoor.com, I can see that the cruising brightly decorated fire truck full of judges was definitely observed by the neighbors. This year, I just wanted to acknowledge all those who support this continuing annual fun event and encourage all Midtown Montgomery Living readers to take a cruise through Capitol Heights and enjoy this ongoing tradition that makes our holidays merry!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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