Christmas Lights Back on Old Courthouse in Princeton


PRINCETON, INDIANA — There’s Santa, snowmen and even some snow falling in a snow globe. It may look like Christmas inside Uniquely Michael’s, a boutique in downtown Princeton decked in red and green, but the holiday spirit really arrived in town Thursday.

It started to feel like Christmas,” Michael Melson, the co-owner of Uniquely Michael’s, said. “You know we’re going to have a good Christmas. The lights are coming back again.”

The lights are the Christmas lights hanging once again from the Old Courthouse, a familiar sight for long-time residents like Melson.

“We always knew when we were getting close to grandmother’s house basically as we were coming down Highway 41, from far away, you could see the lights in the courthouse,” he said.

The past two years, the square has been dark around Christmas time, with safety concerns preventing the Princeton Fire Department from hanging up the lights.

“It kind of made me feel like we were Scrooges because we didn’t put it up,” Princeton Fire Chief Mike Pflug said. “It’s not that we didn’t want to do it. It’s we needed it to be safe for my guys to get up there.”

“I think it was kind of dark around here because people are so used to seeing the Christmas lights up and everything,” Princeton resident Michael McCaleb said.

“You’d expect it and it just wasn’t there,” Melson said. “It made everything just not quite as Christmas-y as we’re used to here.”

With crews renovating the top of the Old Courthouse this past summer and making the necessary safety changes, the lights are back up, much to the merriment of many Princetonians.

“Kids come out and look at them with Santa Claus being out here and everything,” McCaleb said. “It ain’t Christmas without the Christmas lights.”

“It just puts them in a better mood,” Melson said. “And when people see that, they’re more jolly and when people are happy, they want to buy more.”

The lights will officially be turned on December 3 for Princeton’s Christmas celebration.

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