LITH 2018 Merchandise by Michael Graves

Whew, 2018 Lights in the Heights is just a memory, now. And it still has us smiling — fun times, great folks, huge success! This year’s LITH has been a true labor-of-love, for the 2018 LITH Committee. On behalf of the entire LITH Committee, we want to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who supported LITH, in every way. In particular, Melissa McKee and Beth Allen-Brock send our special thanks to those who purchased LITH and WH branded merchandise. This year, merchandise sales topped $10,800, which generated profits of approximately $4400. Every penny of merchandise sales’ profit goes toward the expenses of 2018 Lights in the Heights.

Thank you, neighbors!!

LITH 2018 Acknowledgements by Michael Graves

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Lights in the Heights is the result of a massive amount of work by a volunteer team of neighbors. With the event now well in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to extend a big thank you to the entire team of LITH 2018 Chairs and Volunteers!

Lights in the Heights Co-Chairs

  • Sharon Greiff

  • Susan Pennebaker

Lighter in the Heights Chair

  • Peggy Sparks

Holiday Bash Co-Chairs

  • Gabe Vick

  • Bridget Vick

  • Jason Williams

  • Kristi Williams

Silent Auction Chair

  • Lauren Snead

LITH Budget Chair

  • Melissa McKee

LITH Merchandise Co-Chairs

  • Beth Allen-Brock

  • Robyn Klepper

  • Melissa McKee

Friday Night Lights Chair

  • Katie McCafferty

LITH Volunteer Coordinator

  • Claire Getschow

Vendor Contracts, City Permits, Insurance Rider

  • Melissa Sternfels

  • Sharon Greiff

Communications Publisher and WHCA Web

  • Michael Graves

Distribution of Newsletters

  • Andrea Gorney

Art Direction and Graphic Design

  • Stella Espinosa

Luminaria Chair

  • Caroline Johnston

Printing Coordinator, Cookie Chair

  • Robyn Klepper

Block/Porch Generals

  • Meagan Mastal

  • Melissa Sternfels

Band/Porch Coordinators

  • Meredith Burke

  • Ward Pennebaker

  • Kent Brock

Awards Judging Chair

  • Stephanie Riceman

Luminaria Chair

  • Caroline Johnston

LITH Web Portal

  • Mark Sternfels

Thanks also to all volunteers who supported the above chairs with their time, ideas and do-nations.

Friday Night Lights - on Sunday! by Michael Graves


A portion of the family fun originally planned for the FNL event last week has been rescheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, December 16th.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Woodland Heights at the Norhill Esplanade on Sunday afternoon, December 16 from 3:30-5:30. Neighbors wishing to participate in Operation: Stocking Stuffer can bring an unwrapped, unopened new toy to the event where the donation boxes will be set up. There will be s’mores and the final sale of LITH merchandise for 2018.

Lights in the Heights 2018 Winning Homes by Michael Graves

The LITH judging committee toured the route Thursday evening with the help of Jeff Trevino and his open-air art-mobile. The following are this year’s award winning homes:

  • MOST COLORFUL – 514 Euclid

  • MOST FESTIVE – 412 Euclid

  • MOST CREATIVE – 529 Highland

  • MOST WATTAGE – 419 Euclid

  • MOST RELIGIOUS – 402 Byrne

  • BEST THEME – 309 Euclid

  • BEST SINGLE COLOR: 530 Byrne

  • MOST TRADITIONAL – 418 Byrne

  • PICK OF THE NIGHT – 501 Euclid

  • HO-HO-HO – 406 Byrne

  • BEST PORCH – 711 Euclid

  • BEST BLOCK – 400 Byrne

  • BEST NOT-QUITE-A-BLOCK – 1000 Euclid / condo complex

  • MOST MYSTICAL – 713 Byrne

  • BEST FOSSIL – 428 Byrne

  • “THE MOST” – 1020 East 7th

  • MOST HISTORICAL – 518 Byrne

  • BEST BLOW-UPS – 313 Byrne

  • BEST ON-4-WHEELS – Decorated vintage truck on 1000 block of 7th

Lights in the Heights Route Map by Michael Graves

You can click on the map image above to download a PDF copy of the reference route map.

You can click on the map image above to download a PDF copy of the reference route map.

We’ve had a lot of feedback concerning the traffic congestion and the fact that some of our streets are practically impossible to have two-way traffic flow with parking on both sides. To alleviate this, we are trying something new this year; one-way traffic flow with parking on both sides for the majority of our east-west streets. Bayland, Pecore and White Oak will remain two-way streets.

Also, all of Norhill with the North side blocked off but allowing for East/West traffic on Bayland.

Bike Houston will be providing secure bike parking at the North end of the Norhill Esplanade.

Please! Please! Do not block driveways!


Better yet, if you need a ride into the neighborhood, use Lyft! This year we are proud to partner with Lyft to help you get to and from Lights in the Heights safely. Share the promo code HEIGHTSLIGHTS with your friends and party guests, and they will receive 50% off (up to $5) of two rides during Lights in the Heights.

Lyft is operating an official, fully-staffed pickup and drop-off station at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church at 600 Pecore.

Otherwise, very limited parking is available in the neighborhood, including at Vineyard Church, Zion Church (fee applies), Woodland Park, and Stude Park.

Sharon Greiff, LITH Co-chair

LIGHTS IN THE HEIGHTS DECORATIONS JUDGING – Thursday December 6th! by Michael Graves

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The judging committee will be rolling down the route Thursday evening on the 6th, so make sure to have your decorations lit if you would like to participate. If you’re ON the route, you’re automatically in the running.

If you’re OFF the route, you’ll need to nominate your house or your neighbors by emailing so the judges can be sure to include you in the competition.

This year there will also be a BEST BLOCK competition (on-route only), so get busy stringing up those lights with your neighbors! Good luck to you all!

Calling all Bakers! Porch Cookies needed for Lights in the Heights. by Michael Graves


LITH committee is needing volunteers to help with cookie baking. The cookies are a long-standing tradition provided to the houses that volunteer their porches for the night’s live entertainment along the official route. Be a part of the tradition and fire up those ovens! Cookies will need to be delivered between December the 6th and the 7th – any time of the day.

If you can help out, please email to sign up for more details.

Holiday Bash Volunteers Needed! by Michael Graves


Hello neighbors!

We are looking for volunteers to help make our Holiday Bash a smashing success! It is going to be an awesome event with delicious food and drinks from local vendors, a cool rooftop venue, great silent auction items, and lots of fun neighbors ready to celebrate LITH 2018! We need people to help in the following time slots:

Saturday, November 3rd:

  • 3 people to help set up silent auction items from (5pm - 6:30pm at the party venue)

  • 2 people to check-in people to the silent auction (7 - 9pm)

  • 4 people to help check out guests after the silent auction is over (choose a 9pm - 10 pm or 10pm - 11 pm shift)

  • 2 people to be in charge of items that don't get picked up that night

If you’re interested signup using the following link:

For additional information about the Holiday Bash see

Thank you making this year's LITH party a great success!

Lights in the Heights Merchandise Now For Sale! by Michael Graves

The 2018 edition LITH cloisonné ornament is in production. This year's festive logo was designed by Jacob Gonzales, a student in Hogg Middle School's graphic design program. We've added a second cloisonné ornament this year with the highly recognizable trademarked LITH bulb logo. The illustrations don't quite do these beauties justice. These custom ornaments are handcrafted with 24k gold plated wire outlining the vivid colors of the design. Each ornament comes in a silk covered gift box - perfect for giving and safekeeping.

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We also have Holiday Bash tickets, LITH embroidered aprons, printed tea towels, private party signs, and the 30th Anniversary t-shirts available for sale on the website.

Pre-order any of these items and they will be ready for you to pick up at Friday Night Lights on the Norhill Esplanade on December 7. Additional merchandise not sold on our website will be available at FNL including koozies, lighted wands for the kids, and LITH printed cocktail napkins (perfect for your LITH party!)

Lights in the Heights 2018 Proposed Route by Michael Graves

This year the LITH committee, with feedback from residents of Woodland Heights, have selected Byrne and Euclid streets as the official route for the event, with the “anchor” being the Norhill Esplanade. It’s been close to 10 years since these streets have participated and we know that everyone will be excited to see the displays, hear the performers and enjoy the holiday cheer.

LITH 2018 Proposed Route Map (Full Size).jpg

A larger, print-ready version of the route map is available for download here.

As plans are finalized with the city, further details about the route will be published in coming issues of the WHCA newsletter.

Questions, concerns or suggestions can be sent by email to, or by mail to Lights in the Heights, P.O. Box 7754, Houston TX 77270. Please include
your name and contact information.

HMS Student Designs 2018 Lights in the Heights® Logo by Michael Graves


The Lights in the Heights Committee has been working for more than three months planning for Lights in the Heights events to be held starting in September.  Having been on the LITH Committee for that long, I am finding myself humming Christmas Carols and trying to remember all the words to my favorite holiday poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore.  So, I have loosely patterned this on that beloved holiday poem that Moore wrote for his children almost two hundred years ago, in 1822.

‘Twas the week before summer vacation, and all through Hogg Middle School, Students were anxious about final exams and trying to stay calm and cool. Principal Angela Sugarek was watching over students with care,
As their excitement for summer vacation could be heard in the air.
Some students were busy in their Intro Graphic Design class, using the Web And Adobe InDesign to create digital images of what danced in their heads. Art Teacher Connie Sulewski, who directs the Graphics Design Program at Hogg, Called for her class’s attention, “A new assignment,” she said with a nod.
Then in the classroom there arose such moaning and clatter,
Seventh-grader, Jacob Gonzales looked around to see what was the matter?
“You are not required to do this assignment, it’s just for fun,”
Said Ms. Sulewski, “but you could be famous after you’re done.”
Jacob felt Ms. Sulewski was talking directly to him
As she listed items that would have the 2018 logo on them:
“On banners! On letters! On signs and posters!
On aprons! On ornaments! On napkins, even wine glasses!”
Away to a computer Jacob flew like a flash,
So he could start the assignment quickly, after his dash.
When what in his wandering mind did appear,
But the Lone Star of Texas, something Jacob holds dear.
With a wink of his eye and a nod of his head,
“That’s it!  That’s the design they will want!” Jacob said.
He spoke no more words, but went straight to his work,
Drawing a digital image of his logo, then sat back with a jerk,
On his screen, holiday lights made the Lone Star’s shape, 
The words were neon colors, and at the bottom was the date.
With a sense of pride and hope in his heart, 
Jacob submitted his design, so Ms. Sulewski could do her part.
At a Lights in the Heights Committee meeting, Ms. Sulewski presented
30 excellent designs culled from about 100 submitted.
The LITH Committee was astounded at all the designs, and so impressed,
How would they ever choose just one as the best?
This year’s Co-Chairs, Susan and Sharon, took the lead,
After much discussion and input, the Committee finally agreed:
The Lone Star Holiday Lights design was selected for the 2018 logo!
Jacob Gonzales was the winner – a future graphics design pro!

Congratulations, Jacob Gonzales!
The graphic design program at Hogg Middle School offers students comprehensive problem-solving explorations from the conceptual development phase through production of effective design solutions using digital technologies. Graphic design students address concepts of a variety of design problems leading to the execution and evaluation of their solutions, while gaining confidence and proficiency working with digital media.

- Beth Allen-Brock

WHCA September General Meeting & LITH Neighborhood Forum by Michael Graves

The Woodland Heights Civic Association has bi-monthly General Meetings. The upcoming meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Hogg Middle School cafeteria.

This meeting will have the added dimension of offering a Neighborhood Forum to discuss the plans for the 31st annual Lights in the Heights festival. The upcoming Meeting and Forum, like most of our General Meetings, is open to all who wish to attend, whether or not they are Members of the Association.

The Association’s Board of Directors and related committee members will be on hand to entertain all discussion points as they pertain to the LITH festival. The goal is to provide a platform for all those wishing to express comments or concerns about the LITH events as outlined in this newsletter.

We understand in such a diverse neighborhood as ours, perceptions and expectations can vary, but it is our hope this forum will foster a constructive dialogue amongst neighbors. The Board will listen to those varied opinions, learn from our neighbors and, if appropriate, act on comments or criticisms from the stakeholders in the neighborhood.

Of course, the LITH Neighborhood Forum will be part of our regularly scheduled General Meeting and subject to the Association Bylaws. If you are curious about those Bylaws, they are all on the Association website at

To be heard you must attend. Please plan to attend.

Harry McMahon, President
Woodland Heights Civic Association

LITH 2018: Save The Dates! by Michael Graves

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Lighter in the Heights

Neighborhood Garage Sales
Saturday, September 29, 2018
7 am - 1 pm

Light up the Night Holiday Bash

Benefiting Lights in the Heights
1111 Studewood
Saturday, November 3, 2018
7 pm - 11 pm

Friday Night Lights

Neighborhood Gathering
Norhill Esplanade
Friday, December 7, 2018
6 pm - 9 pm

Lights in the Heights

Saturday, December 8, 2018
Byrne and Euclid Streets
6 pm - 9 pm

Presented by the Woodland Heights Civic Association.
Details to follow by email and at
For more info contact
Hope to see you at all four events!

Lights in the Heights: Tribute to Jan Greer and Call for Volunteers by Michael Graves


This past December was the 30th anniversary of Lights in the Heights, a Woodland Heights tradition. This memorable neighborhood event has been made possible by the hard work of volunteers right here in our community. 

The most recent Chairperson of the Lights in the Heights Committee was Jan Greer, who served from 2015 to 2017. Jan first served on the committee from 2011 to 2014 under the leadership of Terri Guerra, Glen Sementelli, and Tim McConn.  During that time she gained experience as Captain of the House Decorating Contest, T-Shirt Captain, and Secretary.  Jan has been hard-working, energetic, and eager to help in all of her roles.

Committee members recall her loaning personal décor items for the Gala, coordinating with local businesses, responding to countless e-mails and phone calls, and handling difficult situations with grace, even in the last few days before her second child was born! During her years as Chairperson she has worked to maintain the neighborhood and family-centered nature of Lights in the Heights by seeing to operations and logistics and maintaining appropriately-sized attendance.

L-to-R: Katie McCafferty (FNL Chair), Mrs Claus, Mr Claus, Jan Green (LITH Chair, 2015-17)

She oversaw three successful fundraising Galas and neighborhood-only Friday Night Lights events. Despite challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Jan and the Committee held a fantastic 30th Lights in the Heights celebration and organized additional neighborhood-only gatherings in the week leading up to the main event. Jan’s passion for the Woodland Heights and willingness to serve is clear, and we are so grateful for her leadership. Thank you, Jan!

After serving for three successful years as Chair, Jan has decided to step down for 2018. Our very own Beth Allen-Brock and Melissa McKee (with the blessing of the WHCA board) are searching for people willing to serve as Co-Chairs for the Lights in the Heights Committee.

This year the plan is to have multiple Co-Chairs to spread the load of the Chair position and welcome more volunteers to the committee. Jan has kindly consented to be a “consultant” for this year to help with the transition and provide valuable history and background on Lights in the Heights.

If you are interested in serving as a Co-Chair or in another role, please contact Melissa McKee and Beth Allen-Brock at

Lights in the Heights 2017 Winning Homes Gallery by Michael Graves

Neighbors have once again stepped up, decorating in preparation for Lights in the Heights. As a result, Woodland Heights has once again appeared on numerous lists of best places to see holiday lights in Houston.

The gallery below contains images from all of the winning homes. Judging occurred the evening of Thursday, December 7th, under the direction of Head Judge Robyn Klepper.

Clicking on the large image cycles to the next, or navigate using the strip of images below.

Lights-in-the-Heights Winning Houses by Michael Graves

The following are the judges results. Pictures to follow.






1108 7th ST


1020 7th ST






803 OMAR






Coming Soon: Lights in the Heights T-Shirts! by Michael Graves

The recent newsletter hinted at the possible return of LITH T-Shirts. We're happy to report that they are being made!

The LITH merchandise, including the T-Shirts, will be available for sale at LITH events this week. They're also available at "It's a Houston Thing" a pop-up store located at Christian's Tailgate on White Oak Drive starting on Thursday, December 7th.

LITH 2017 Ornaments Sold Out! by Michael Graves

As of December 2nd the limited edition Lights-in-the-Heights cloisonné Christmas ornaments are completely sold out! Only 75 were produced.

Delivery of the ornaments is expected about a week before Christmas. Once the goods have arrived, Jan Rynda Greer, LITH Committee Chair, will provide pickup details to everyone who purchased an ornament.