By Chris Bernier
Christmas comes but once a year but for many that year is spent in secrecy and planning of their Christmas light display. Sound epic? Well that is because it is. Hi, my name is Chris Bernier and I am a winner of the “Light up the town” competition. One of the lucky ones, from 2020. Now, as the coordinator for the event, we are going to announce the 2022 winners.
As you know, 2020 brought in a year that nobody expected. Covid-19 swept the world and turned everything we know and love upside down. The Waterville Parade of lights, one of the area’s most loved celebrations was canceled due to the pandemic. The wonderful folks at the Children’s Discovery Museum rapidly switched gears and invented the “Light up the town” competition to get people to show their Christmas Spirit by decorating their homes with as many lights as possible. Also providing an opportunity for kids to go out and see these lights by publishing a map. It that wasn’t enough the Children’s Discovery Museum coordinated a Parade with Santa from Kringleville leading the way to visit the top 3 winners.
Fast forward now to 2022. As a previous winner, I agreed to jump in head first and coordinate the 2022 competition. We had 20 entries and this year from the three communities of Waterville, Winslow, and Vassalboro. These were broken up into two categories. Residences and businesses. Each with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. All of the entries were decked to the nine with lights. If you didn’t get to drive by and see them yourselves be sure to do so next year. This year unlike years previous I decided to make the judging as arbitrary as possible. I asked several Cub Scouts to vote for the winners. Each Scout was equipped with a map and a judging sheet. They were given two weeks to check out the decorations to see which they liked the best. Who best to judge a Christmas light competition other than kids?
For the residential division competition, Mark and Fran Hudson of Winslow won 1st place with their display “Rudolph and Friends. Their display featured almost all of the characters from the famed claymation movie “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer”. Mark and Fran won a 40″ Flat Screen TV. Jim Hollingdale of Waterville won 2nd place with his epic music synchronized Display “Christmas Dance Party”. He won a new soundbar and subwoofer for his TV. 3rd place went to Jennifer Eberly with her amazing display named “Happy Nature” . This display even featured a canoe going down a Christmas light waterfall and river. She won a portable battery-operated sound speaker.
In the business division State Farm on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville took 1st place with their display “Holiday on the Hill” Set up by Alek Fortier featuring red and white lights all over the place. Airplanes landing at LaFleur Airport must of used it as a signal beacon for landing. An amazing display for sure. State farm won a mini Christmas blow form Trophy. Scraps N Sew in Winslow took 2nd place with their huge display called Harrington Holiday House. They also won a mini-blow form trophy. 3rd place went to Heart Designs in Waterville put together by the Harris family. They also won a min blow form trophy. All of the prizes were donated by CTB Electronics in Winslow.
All of the displays were well done and in the end everyone was a winner for just participating. We are all hoping that next year we double our participation and the itch to Grizwold your home catches on. I would like to personally thank the Children’s Discovery Museum for continuing this newer tradition they have brought to the area and for allowing me to help keep it moving forward. I want to thank everyone who participated this year and hope you will spread the word and participate again next year. If you have questions or want more information on the event you may contact me at email@example.com or contact the Children’s Discovery Museum of Waterville.
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