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updated: 12/9/2012 6:42 AM

Holiday lights flashback: 2011 winner

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  • Michael Arnold won the 2011 Daily Herald holiday lights contest for his display at 106 Monroe St. in Elgin.

       Michael Arnold won the 2011 Daily Herald holiday lights contest for his display at 106 Monroe St. in Elgin.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report

All sorts of people know the house at 106 Monroe St. in Elgin, the winner of the 2011 Daily Herald Holiday Lights contest. When homeowner Mike Arnold visits the doctor's office, nurses look at his file and ask if his house is the one with the lights. Some college students on their way through town once sent a Christmas card telling the Arnolds how they had seen the house with the lights and just had to write to them. Bus tours have stopped stop by to take photos and meet the designer, and cars line the street every evening between Thanksgiving and early January to see the army of Nutcracker figurines; handmade ornaments on the tree that his wife, Pam, makes to commemorate each year; and the giant candles that border the lawn. "I don't do it for the recognition. It's the fact that people really enjoy it," Arnold said. "When it stops being fun that's when I will stop putting in the time, money and effort it takes."

To enter this year's holiday lighs contest, submit a photo of your house by Dec. 9. Come back and vote on the winner between Dec. 10 and 16. The winner and a voter drawn at random will win snowblowers. For details, to enter and to vote, go to Contest sponsored by Wintrust Financial Corp.


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