New decorations, old tradition in Homewood
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent November 21, 2013 10:40AM
The snowflake lights that adorn streetlight poles in Homewood are being replaced this year but residents shouldn't notice the difference, officials say. | Supplied photo
Updated: November 29, 2013 9:04PM
Homewood won’t be using the same holiday snowflake decorations this year, but it’s not likely they’ll be missed.
Brand-new snowflakes replace 111 well-worn, 5-foot-high electric decorations the village has been using for more than a decade, Mayor Rich Hofeld said.
“They’re at least a dozen years old,” Hofeld said. “For the last several years, public works has been almost gluing them together, piecing them together.”
Hofeld said about 12 years ago, the village selected several companies to submit snowflake samples after he had been driving through communities and saw snowflake decorations in an Indiana town.
Hofeld thought they were not only “absolutely beautiful” but fit the bill in every way.
“Sure, it’s a holiday atmosphere,” Hofeld said, “and they’re seasonal.”
As long as the decorations reflect winter in Homewood, they can remain attached to village light poles for months, not just the holiday season.
Spanking-new snowflakes aren’t the only improvement in Homewood. The village hall’s new landscaping includes LED lights which change color to reflect various holidays.
“Orange for Halloween, green for St. Patrick’s Day,” Hofeld said.
One thing that won’t change, Hofeld said, is the “snowflake contest” for anyone who wants to enter, whether or not they are residents. He said when the companies submitted snowflake samples to the village years ago, one company failed to take theirs back. That gave Hofeld an idea.
“Put it up. We’ll have a contest,” he said.
Hofeld said each year around Thanksgiving, when the snowflakes are hung, one snowflake with a different pattern is placed among the others. The first 50 people who show up to Village Hall on a Saturday morning and correctly identify the odd snowflake’s location to Hofeld receive a gift certificate to a local business.
This year’s sponsors are the Twisted Q and Eat Rice restaurants.
Hofeld said when the village board recently approved selling or sending the 12-year-old batch of snowflakes to salvage, he told public works to hold on to a couple of the old decorations for the contest.
The tradition continues.