Hassetts Nab First Place with Palisades Fourth of July Decorations

By Sarah Stockman
Palisades News Reportor

For the past seven years, the Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) has hosted the Fourth of July Patriotic Home Decorating Contest, sponsored by realtor Joan Sather.

Weeks before the Fourth of July, Palisadians adorned their houses in traditional red, white, and blue. Flags flew from all possible outlets, taffeta crinkled around columns and along gutters, and some houses even changed the colors of their houselights to match their patriotic theme.

The Hassett family (left to right) Jackie, Jack, Jim, Kate and pets took first place in the home decorating contest. Photo: Lesly Hall
The Hassett family (left to right) Jackie, Jack, Jim, Kate and pets took first place in the home decorating contest. Photo: Lesly Hall














This year, no house was better decorated than 15346 DePauw Street, the home of Jim and Jackie Hassett and their two children, Jack (14) and Kate (12).

According to eight-year-old judge Gable Nealon, the house definitely earned its stripes. “This was pretty cool. It had lots of Fourth of July decorations that were very different, very detailed and unique,” Gabe said.

This is not the Hassett’s first win in this competition. Their first win came in 2012 and they were runners-up in 2011.

This year’s top award was a surprise for the family. Normally they decorate up until the day their house gets judged and check out their competition around the neighborhood.

However, this year they were out of town until late July 3 because Kate’s volleyball team was competing in the Junior Olympics in Indianapolis.

“We decorated before we left,” Jackie said. “So we didn’t get a chance to scope out our competition.”

Decorating the Hassett’s Cape Cod-style home is a family affair. “Everyone helps, and we have a good friend, Pat Peters, who’s good at helping us with our decorating,” Jackie said.

The initial set-up process doesn’t take as long as one would expect. The Hassetts keep all their Fourth of July decorations in a storage unit. (They had to purchase a unit a few years ago to house all of their holiday decorations—they are also avid Christmas and Halloween decorators.)

After lugging their boxes to their home, they spend a few hours setting up. This year they hung patriotic stars in their trees, long flag banners along their house columns, and even decorated the front porch rocking chairs.

Nitty-gritty details are then added over the next few days.

“My daughter and husband one day added all the flags,” Jackie said. “I think we had more than 50 flags that we put out everywhere.”

For their decorating efforts, the family won a variety of prizes, including a flag that was flown over the nation’s Capital and a whole lot of gift certificates to local shops.

The Hassetts have lived in the Palisades for nineteen years, fifteen of them in this house on DePauw. Both Jack and Kate attended Calvary Christian, and are now at Harvard Westlake. Jim is the executive vice president of credit investments at Athene Asset Management and was a PPBA coach when Jack was younger.

The whole Hassett family is looking for- ward to their next big decorating holiday, Halloween. Although they will still decorate for the Fourth of July, one of the family members will now be a judge for the 2017 contest.

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