Nativity Inspires Christmas Lights Winner – The Leaf Chronicle – Clarksville, Tennessee

Nativity Inspires Christmas Lights Winner – The Leaf Chronicle – Clarksville, Tennessee
William Peters' home at 1488 Brantley Lane is the city first- place winner in the 2008 Clarksville Christmas Lighting Contest. (Photo By: Robert Smith - The Leaf-Chronicle)



The Leaf-Chronicle


December 14, 2008


Front and center in the Christmas lights display at 1488 Brantley Lane is a Nativity scene, with Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the others in a manger surrounded by palm trees.


“Jesus is the reason for the season, and everything revolves out from it,” said William Peters, city first-place winner in this year’s Clarksville Christmas Lighting Contest.


Peters, 50, who retired from the Army and now works at Nyrstar zinc plant, has a display that features mock-ups of Clarksville buildings, including the County Courthouse, The Leaf-Chronicle, the L&N Train Station, old City Hall and the Roxy Regional Theatre among others.


New to his yard this year is what he calls Santa’s Playland ? a merry-go-round, teeter totter and other playground toys, all in twinkling lights. To make room on the north side of his house for the playland, he moved his holographics display to the south side, where it will be more visible to the neighborhood.


Peters finances his light display by hiring himself out to a couple of neighbors to handle their yards.


His wife doesn’t mind all his work on the yard. “She does the inside stuff, and I do the outside,” Peters said.

County winner


R.C. Paslay of 502 Liberty Church Road is the county winner this year. He’s been working on his display since mid-October, getting it ready for his annual Thanksgiving night light-up.


His display includes a manger scene, Christmas trees and more. New this year is a ski slope in lights, coming down the driveway.


Paslay, who retired after 30 years in the Navy then seven with State Industries, said his grandchildren get a kick out of the lights display, and he does as well.


“I’ve enjoyed Christmas ever since I as a kid,” he said.

The contest


About a dozen judges inspected the nominated yards for this year’s contest, picking first-, second- and third-place winners for the county and another set of winners for the city, plus subdivision and commercial winners.


Cash prizes are $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. The contest is sponsored by Crye-Leike Realtors, The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville Department of Electricity Lightband and the Cumberland Electric Membership Corp.


Chris Smith is managing editor for local news and can be reached at 245-0282 or by e-mail at