Patti's 1880's Settlement competes in national Christmas light c - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Patti's 1880's Settlement competes in national Christmas light contest

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GRAND RIVERS, Ky. — Patti’s 1880’s Settlement competed against businesses across the country for the best Christmas light display Monday night.

The town of 300 people gathered inside the Grand Rivers Community Center to watch their pride and joy on ABC's competition show 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

Chip Tullar started the Christmas tradition years ago with his parents. 

“I loved Christmas when I was little and now I can walk through and see the children loving the lights,” Tullar said. 

Tullar says one thing Patti’s has compared to other light displays is the tradition. 

“Every year it gets better and we come up with new things, but we still do it the old fashion way,” Tullar said. 

Patti’s is named after Tuller’s mother. The business started as a hamburger and ice cream parlor in the 1970’s. 

And that’s when the tradition of the Christmas light display began. 

“We used to put the lights up when it was just Hamburger Patti’s Ice Cream Parlor when we could only seat 20 people,”Tullar said,. “We would begin putting up Christmas lights the night of Thanksgiving. 

Now, with 1.3 million lights, the team starts decorating at the end of August. 

Patti’s Director of Marketing Ann Martin says it takes three months and about 100 employees to hang the lights. 

Martin is the only who received the phone call from an ABC producer last year asking if they wanted to be on the show.

“Actually I got a call and it was a California number and the lady told me she was a producer,” Martin said. “At first I was said yeah right and I hung up on her, but she later called me back and explained who she was and why she was calling.”

After talking to the producers, the mangers at Patti’s decided they would compete in 'The Great Christmas Light Fight.' 

“We decided to put the display up like we always do,” Martin said. “That’s how we got chosen so why should we go bigger and better to show off when we have the perfect display.” 

ABC filmed Patti’s in November 2017. Months later, the well-known settlement suffered a major tragedy after a fire destroyed the restaurant. 

But the fire didn’t destroy their Christmas spirit. 

“There will always be Christmas at Patti’s. It’s such a huge tradition. We thought we were not’t going to be able to pull it off this year, but we did. And if we can pull it off without a restaurant, you better be careful because next year it will be bigger and better,” Martin said laughing. 

Patti’s 1880’s Settlement did not win the Christmas Light Fight, but the Patti’s family says they still feel like winners. 

“We won because we were able to show people that even though the restaurant is gone, we still are Patti’s and we are still going strong,” Martin said. 

The new Patti’s restaurant is currently being rebuilt and is set to open in May 2019. 

The light display will be up until the second week of January. 

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