By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Judges hit the streets of Morinville Thursday night with clipboards in hand to determine who in town had the most festive Christmas light displays. This year’s competition drew 14 nominees – 10 residences and four businesses.
This year’s first place winner (above) was Chris Mercer, a nominee judges felt had a great overall look from the roof to the ground. The display even had a Christmas countdown clock as part of the display.
Brenda Kluytmans home (above) was the second place winner this year for her home’s subtle traditional Christmas arrangement that included simulated stain glass windows and plenty of Christmas ornaments in the pine tree outside.
Third place winner (above) Delores Borgen’s home had plenty for judges to vote on. From the lights on the windows and eaves to the light up North Pole on the front lawn, the home had a festive flair to it.
This year judges gave an honourable mention to Peg Johnson’s fun-filled Christmas set up (above) that came complete with skating penguins in Oilers’ jerseys, a giant snowman on the roof and lights that kept time with Christmas music playing on 105.1 FM.
This year’s business display winner was The Flower Stop. Runners up were Hunters Print and Copy and Vintage Petals.
Judge Linda Getzlaf said she has always enjoyed driving around town to look at the Christmas lights people put on their homes. “I enjoy it and I thought the selection was good,” she said of this year’s entries, adding she would love to see more nominees next year. “Kudos to the people who are out their decorating their houses and entering.”
Shani Gwin, another of this year’s judges, said touring the lights puts her in the Christmas spirit. “It says a lot about the people in Morinville, too,” she said. “A lot of people go out there and put the effort in to be part of the community.”
Recreation and Cultural Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka said one of the joys of driving around with the judges was it provided an opportunity to also see all the light displays that were not nominated. Dziwenka said she’d love to see some of the houses that weren’t nominated this year on the list next year.
Dziwenka said she was pleased this year’s judging took place after the Town of Morinville’s Light Up the Night Festival. “We made the lighting of the park kind of the kickoff,” she said, adding the timing allowed residents more time to get their Christmas displays up.
This year’s light judging was short one traditional Morinville Christmas element – the opinions and company of Morinville seniors. Problems with the Morinville Community Bus late Thursday afternoon prevented the inclusion of local seniors on the tour this year.
Below are some other photos from this year’s Christmas Lights Competition. Click on the thumbnail to see full-sized image,t hen use mouse wheel or arrow keys to navigate photo gallery.