I've been at the Minden Press-Herald for 11 years. A lot of people have come and gone at your community news source in that time, but one that sticks out above most others in my mind is a quirky redheaded reporter named Kristi.
Whether her last name was Martin or Richie, I'm sure that most Minden folks who were reading the paper back then remember this intrepid young reporter and subsequent city editor.
Marched to the beat of her own drum, did Kristi. Still does, I'm sure. And one of her most enjoyable parts of working at the Press-Herald was writing the annual feature on our "Griswold House," named for the Chevy Chase inspired Clark W. Griswold.
Those familiar with Mr. Griswold will remember the near nuclear proportion powered Christmas lights display he would put out in his suburban Chicago neighborhood.
Blinding was a good adjective.
Well, Kristi would always look for a Griswold house in Minden. She usually found one, albeit not to the level of a Hollywood comedy, and she would take photos and write a feature piece on the homeowner for our Christmas Eve edition.
So it's a shame Kristi never got to participate in our Christmas Lighting Contest. That's right, the contest is back, and once again we are putting out the call for all of Minden to register to win great prizes for participating.
It's a simple contest: Decorate your home, fill out the entry form (which can be found daily in the Press-Herald beginning today), send the form in and sit back to see if your home stacks up to the rest.
All winners, residential and business, will be featured in a front-page article. A basket of prizes from local businesses, totaling more than $500 in value, will go to the residential winner. The business winner will receive a complementary advertising package from the paper.
This year's prize basket is especially nice. And we appreciate the generosity of our business partners in providing these prizes. Of course the business winner's prize, a complimentary advertising package with our paper, is beyond value.
The prize basket includes:
A free front-end alignment from A.J. Price, a $50 value;
One-month free tanning and lotion from South Beach Tanning & Tuxedos, a $75 value;
A gift bundle from MBL Bank;
A free family portrait session with Main Street Photography, a $250 value;
$50 worth of fireworks from Bistineau Blasters;
A $50 gift certificate from ACE Hardware; and,
A three-month subscription to the Minden Press-Herald.
Just remember, you MUST enter to be eligible to win. All the lights in the world won't amount to a hill of Jack's magic beans unless you fill out the form and enter the contest.
So with that I say please join us in this seasonal celebration and get your entry forms in for a chance at these great prizes. Minden is a beautiful community year round, but Minden alit at Christmas is something amazing to behold.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.