The Kiwanis Club’s goal for its annual Christmas Lighting Contest is to encourage members of the community to decorate their homes and help show off New Richmond in all its glory during the holiday season.
“It is a really fun event and it is something we want to do to encourage people to get out of their houses and see the city,” Kiwanis Club President Erin Eneboe said. “This is the third year that I’ve been a part of Kiwanis and the number of houses we have seen with lights on them has gone up.”
This year’s contest will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 18, with the delegation of judges, headed by committee chair Joel Pederson, taking to the streets of New Richmond to look at the homes that have been decorated with Christmas lighting displays.
“Four groups of us will take different routes that night and try to cover as much of New Richmond as we can,” Eneboe said. “Once we have seen everything and made our choices for the top houses on our route, we will reconvene and then the finalist committee will go out and pick the winner.”
Judging of the event is done while considering not only the overall beauty and set up of a lighting display, but also the amount of work needed to make an attractive, original display that shows creativity and keeps with the Christmas spirit.
“We try to not have the same No. 1 winner each year since we want to make it fair for everyone and encourage more people to try their hand at putting up a display of their own,” Eneboe said. “There isn’t really any set criteria for what we are looking for, but it usually isn’t too hard to determine which houses have the best displays.”
The only restriction to the contest is that a house must be within the New Richmond city limits to be eligible for judging. The judges will make a serious effort to make it through every neighborhood in search of the best lighting displays throughout the night on Dec. 18. If a resident wishes to make sure the judges see their display, they can call Pederson at 715-246-2517, or Eneboe at 715-246-0289.
“We all have different tastes as to what we like to see in a display, but that is why we have one set of judges to do an initial pass, then send in a second set to pick the winner,” Eneboe said. “Some of the houses are just exceptional with the displays they have up, and that is why we like to post the best ones so that people can go out and see them for themselves.”
New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates will be awarded to first place ($75), second place ($50), third place ($25) and fourth, fifth and sixth place ($15).