The judges had some very tough decisions to make in the first annual Nelson Star Christmas lightup and decorating contest.
“It was way harder than we thought,” said Star publisher Chuck Bennett. “We really struggled over who to pick in both categories.”
In the business category it was so close for the judges that Bennett has decided to break down the prize into first place and two runners up.
Cottonwood Kitchens takes home first prize, with runner-up awards going to Cottons Clothing Co. and The Craft Connection.
“They were all really, really good, but in the end we had a to pick a winner and despite a split vote, Cottonwood Kitchens finished on top,” said Bennett.
Cottonwood Kitchens wins $300 worth of advertising in the Nelson Star, while Cottons and The Craft Connection both win $100.
Other businesses that were singled out by the judges for great displays were Village Ski Hut, the Chahko Mika Mall and Streetclothes Named Desire.
The residential category was just as tough, and again in the end, the judges decided to have a tie for first prize.
“Terri Maglio’s Christmas light display at her Taghum house is simply amazing,” said Bennett. “Everyone should really stop in and see this display. She has really gone all out and it really breathtaking.”
The Maglio home is at the end of the road where the Taghum hall is located.
As the judges toured Nelson, it appeared that Maglio’s house would be the only winner, when judges fell on the last house of the night at the very end of Ninth Street in Fairview.
Kevin Sansom and Judy Ford have also gone all out, but in a very different way. Mingled in with a myriad of lights, that includes a massive tree in their backyard that can be seen from all over Fairview, were unique hand-crafted old-fashioned Christmas wood cutouts of different themes like Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus.
“They were really neat, and very different than what you normally see,” said Bennett. “It was really exciting to see them and all of the judges basically told me I had to come up with another prize because they weren’t going to pick one over the other.”
Both winners pick up a dinner for two from the Nelson Star at the restaurant of their choice. When told of their prize, in the spirit of the season Sansom and Ford asked that $100 be donated to a local food bank instead.
There were also some honourable mentions. The Crease Street houses in Rosemont were very well done and showed how an entire neighbourhood can get into the Christmas spirit. There was also neighbourhood cooperation near the top of Falls Street, where neighbours had a lit Santa Claus sleigh and reindeer going across all three houses. Granite Manor below the hospital is a great example of making an apartment block come alive. The last honourable mention went to 1219 Cedar Street, which was also very well done.
“We have lots of great lights in this community and the judging was really fun,” added Bennett. “Next year we hope locals will ramp it up even more and make our job even that much more difficult.”