GLOWING REVIEWS: New Pal residents crank up the juice for Light the Night contest


Arty Clark, whose display was declared a winner in the 2020 Light the Night contest in New Palestine, takes in the dazzle of his new display.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

NEW PALESTINE — Arty Clark and his neighbor have a little running joke about the reason people visit their street at Christmastime.

“My neighbor always tells me his lights attract everybody and then they just happen to see mine,” Clark said with a laugh.

Each year, Clark spends several hundred dollars decorating his family’s home in the 4700 block of South Mud Creek Court in New Palestine. Last year, he was named the Community Winner in the Bob Kingry annual Light the Night Contest.

“I’ve been putting up lights for a while, and when we moved to a bigger house, it’s gotten to be kind of a cool thing,” Clark said. “I know the kids love it, and that’s the main reason I do it.”

This will be the third year local groups and community members in New Palestine will pay respects to a resident who used to light up his home like no other at the holidays. The architect of the dazzling displays, Bob Kingry, died in 2017 at age 68

The third Annual Bob Kingry Light the Night contest, presented by New Palestine Main Street and the New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, officially kicked off last weekend.

Clark, who is a father of two boys, said it’s a blast decorating the family home.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said.

Clark is one of dozens of community members have entered the contest to decorate their home or business in Bob Kingry fashion, which means decorating things with as many lights and festive Christmas ideas as possible. The winners of the contest will be announced Friday evening, Dec. 17, on Main Street at the Mary M. Nichols building.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand with a choir around 6 p.m. There will even be a Festival of Lights Parade, vendors, food trucks and more. Officials will then announce the winners of the contest.

In conjunction with the contest, the groups were hoping to host a number of of Christmas events this past weekend, but worries about the weather pushed the the town’s Winterfest back until this Friday.

Santa’s Trail Christmas Walk will kick off the event. Participants can pick up a map at Edward Jones, 48 W. Main Street, beginning at 3 p.m. People can then visit the participating businesses and vendors to receive a stamp on their map. Completed maps may be turned in at the Mary M. Nichols building, East Main Street no later than 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Part of the idea behind Light the Night is to make New Palestine a destination for Christmas light lovers by getting as many home and business owners as possible to decorate for the holidays like Kingry did at his home in Schildmeier Village. His light display attracted people from all over for many years.

“We don’t think anyone will ever do it like Mr. Kingry did, but we want to keep his spirit going,” said Julie Lucas, who leads New Palestine Main Street. “He always had such a great display, and everyone always went by to see it.”

Erin Garvey of New Palestine Main Street said Christmastime in New Pal was always special when Kingry set up his Christmas display.

“A few members of the chamber and I had an idea to add a Christmas lights map of local residences and even businesses, as part of the annual Christmas Walk,” she said. “We thought it would be fun to make it a contest.”

After speaking to the Kingry family, they were honored to add Bob Kingry’s name to the title.

“We could not think of a better way to help bring the community together and to build the community spirit, than to recognize the member of our very own community who pulled out all the stops when it came to Christmas lights displays,” she said.

Last year, organizers had more then 20 contestants. More than 30 are competing this year in several categories: Best Business Display, Community Spirit and Most Festive.

Lucas said Light the Night and the holiday events are all about everyone working together and giving people a place to gather and have a good time during the Christmas season.

Lucas joked when asked if the goal of the Light the Night contest was to get New Palestine noticed from the International Space Station.

“Exactly,” she said with a laugh.

Light the Night entries in New Palestine: 

35 E. Main Street

131 E. Main Street

132 E. Main Street

28 E. Main Street

18 E. Main Street

50 W. Main Street

56 W. Main Street

4331 S. County Road 500W

4924 S. Loganberry Court

3727 S. Stony Ridge Court

4763 W. Tradwell Drive

1300 Harmony Trail

1274 Harmony Trail

1255 Harmony Trail

1250Harmony Trail

1234 Harmony Trail

1200 Harmony Trail

3272 Harmony Trail

3256 Harmony Trail

3238 Harmony Trail

3205 Harmony Trail

2920 W. Sycamore Drive

3164 W. Sharon Drive

4819 West County Road 100S

1423 S. Fox Tail Pass

6942 W. Logan Drive

4014 S. Heritage Court

3780 S. Creekside Drive

4802 South Mud Creek Court

4769 South Mud Creek Court

5521 W. Baywood Drive

5550 W. U.S. 52