Contest makes a splash

TROUT VALLEY – Borrowing from Chicago’s Cows on Parade and looking to inject some eccentric fun into the holiday season, the village is hosting a Trouts on Parade contest.

After sitting on the concept for about a year, Trout Valley President Bob Baker worked with  resident Steve Lehnertz, who created a 4-foot wooden cutout in the shape of a trout.

The trout cut-outs, which are mounted on wrought-iron stands to give them an appearance of leaping out of the water, were distributed to residents interested in the decoration contest.

Pointedly, Baker did not want the contest to be a fundraiser. He just wants residents to have fun.

Decorated trouts will be on display in residents’ yards on Christmas Eve with traditional luminaria. The village will put out a directory for everyone to view, listing the 20 or so homes of people participating in the contest. Residents will be able to vote on the displays, and the winner will receive a prize, Baker said.

“I’m hoping to see some quirky, offbeat ones,” Baker said.

Baker is likely to get his wish from residents in the small community. So far, the designs all are overboard.

When residents Doug and Heidi Peters heard about the contest, they signed up and now have a 4-foot trout in their living room, Heidi Peters said.

“We like art, so this just seemed like a fun challenge,” she said.

The couple’s two children, Ben and Morgan, are helping design the family’s trout, which will have some Big Easy flair, Heidi Peters said.

“We love the House of Blues and the way it is decorated, so we are using bottle caps and going for a Cajun, New Orleans-style trout,” she said.

Others are going in different directions.

The Mackey family is using colored tiles to decorate their trout. Michelle, Craig and their daughter, Sage, spent the past several days preparing the wooden fish for display.

Terry Parrilli painted a life-like replica of the freshwater fish. 

For information about the displays, contact Baker at troutmayor@aol.com.

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