The Highlands along Bardstown Road, Baxter Avenue and Barret Avenue was the place to be Saturday night for the 27th annual Bardstown Road Aglow, the yearly kick-off to the Christmas season in the Louisville neighborhood occurring on the first Saturday of December. This would also be my first Aglow, and I got the opportunity to do it big by filling in for Louisville.com editor-in-chief Zach Everson  for the Holiday Decoration Contest.
I descended upon Winston’s Restaurant at Sullivan University via TARC – who allowed riders to ride for free if they wore a red ribbon in honor of World AIDS Day; Aglow just happened to occur on the same day this year – fifteen minutes before 5 p.m., where Caroline Knop of Simply PR greeted everyone involved with the judging, including “The Bar Belle” Sara Havens of LEO and Michelle Arnold of WHAS-TV among others. A drink and a few hors d’oeurves later, and the group of 20 boarded a bus parked outside the restaurant, where goodie bags filled with bottles of Four Roses Single Barrel, gift cards from Bearno’s and ValuMarket, and more awaited us.
While Aglow itself is nearly 30, the decoration contest – where participating businesses competed for the titles of Business Appropriate, Grand Prize and Griswold – has been around for a couple of years. My top pick from what I recall would be Keith’s Hardware display, where not only was the store Griswold-worthy, the Volkswagen Type II parked out front was also wonderfully aglow. Also: bourbon-enhanced Wendy’s Frostys need more work before they’re ready for primetime.
After the judging came to a close, I was dropped off at Bardstown and Eastern Parkway, where I saw everything from Luigi and an existential stack of boxes watched over a Galaga arcade game at Heine Bros. to a Honda Civic art car pull into the parking lot of Mid City Mall.
I can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe Zach and I should tag-team?
Photos: Louisville.com/Cameron Miquelon.