Members of the Harlan County Arts Council are hoping their hometown will be extra “merry and bright” this holiday season with a contest they are kicking off this week titled “Harlan Lights.” The best decorated house in Harlan County for Christmas will be recognized by the council and will also be awarded a plaque and featured in the Harlan Daily Enterprise. It is the intent of Harlan County Arts Council members to promote the decorating talents of local residents while also encouraging homeowners to become creative this Christmas.
“Decorating for Christmas is an art form all in itself,” said Harlan County Arts Council President Jennifer McDaniels. “There’s such beauty in holiday lights, and Harlan Countians sure know how to get festive and showcase their decorating talents. There is also a tradition here to drive around at night and to look at all the dazzling lights. Riding around on Christmas Eve to look at the lights has always been a tradition in my family, and I think a bunch of others share that tradition as well.”
The “Harlan Lights” contest will include outdoor decorations only. All residents living within Harlan County are eligible to participate in the contest. Interested “Harlan Lights” contenders should contact McDaniels or Harlan County Arts Council board member Bob Howard to have their addresses added to the list of homes to be judged.
Harlan County Arts Council board members will tour the submitted home entries on Dec. 17 and 18. The winner will be announced live on WTUK FM Radio Station’s “Crow in the Morning” show on Dec. 21. Professional photography of the winning home will be done later in the day, compliments of the Harlan County Arts Council, and the winning home photography will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Harlan Daily Enterprise.
“There’s been some really nice holiday lights in Harlan County in the past, so this should be an enjoyable contest to host,” said Howard, who came up with the idea to promote and award residential holiday light displays in Harlan County. “And it will be a fun task for Harlan County Arts Council board members to bundle up, fill up our travel mugs with coffee or hot cocoa, and tour the decorated houses. I’m looking forward to it!”
Interested “Harlan Lights” contest participants can get their addresses on the list to be toured and judged by contacting McDaniels at 606-573-4223. Only exterior decorations will be judged, and lights must be a part of the display.
The Harlan County Arts Council is a non-profit organization geared to improve, promote and enhance the fine arts as well as Harlan County artisans. The council meets monthly and conducts workshops, guest lectures and other special events for its members. The cost to join the Harlan County Arts Council is $15 annually.
For more information about The Harlan County Arts Council, or the group’s “Harlan Lights” contest, contact McDaniels or visit the group’s Facebook page.