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December 9, 2013

 

Holiday Lighting Contest becoming a local tradition

HolidayJoe McIntyre/staff photobrapher
Jim and Debbie Duncan of Cedar Street pose with their holiday home decorations Saturday. The city is holding its sixth annual lighting contest. Judges will evaluate the displays that are illuminated at night and ask homeowners if they want to participate.

By STEVEN HOWE
Staff Reporter
showe@cortlandstandardnews.net

For Richard Stock, seeing holiday light displays hearkens back to childhood memories during the Christmas season.
When Stock is out judging the city’s Holiday Lighting Contest, it’s a chance to reminisce. Now in its sixth season, the contest will have more than 20 prizes available to reward, and encourage, residents putting up lights.
“What I’ve seen is more and more people putting out their lights,” Stock said. “Great displays.”
The friendly competition has a number of unique facets that Stock said are designed to make it as balanced and inclusive as possible — the most noticeable being that participants don’t have to apply to take part, they simply need to turn on their Christmas lights.
Judging for the competition will take place during the week of Dec. 8 through Dec. 14, when judges will select the three best houses from each of the city’s eight wards. The first round will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during that week.
While any house with a holiday display is eligible, participation is not compulsory. Volunteer judges will knock on the doors of houses they think are award-winning quality and residents can choose whether or not they would like to participate.
Joe Prignon was putting up his holiday light display on Saturday afternoon at his house at 92 W. Main St. For Prignon, decorating is a good way of marking the start of the holiday season.
“It’s kind of when we get into the season,” Prignon said. “With Thanksgiving so late this year it kind of sprung up on us.”
Prignon was quick to credit the work of his neighbors who put up holiday light displays.
“This neighborhood does a pretty good job,” Prignon said.
While they don’t imagine they’ll win the holiday light contest, Jim and Debbie Duncan of 45 Cedar St. are glad to have the chance to put up some lights. Debbie Duncan will be retiring from a job with the U.S. Postal Service and hopes to be able to enjoy the holidays more, when it’s not her busiest time of the year.
“It makes me feel good,” Debbie Duncan said, of decorating. “It makes me feel at peace.”
Debbie Duncan said her parents would decorate during the holidays and it is a tradition to she is happy to continue. While she makes the decorating decisions, Jim Duncan is the one tasked with putting them up.
“I like seeing them and going around the neighborhood,” Debbie Duncan said.
Sam and Elsie Ferro, of 15 Denti Way, still had more decorating to do on Saturday but already had a nice display up. Decorating their home, both inside and out, is a holiday tradition for the Ferro’s.
“It makes people happy,” Sam Ferro said. “It gets us in the spirit.”
Elsie Ferro said that families in the neighborhood look forward to lights once the Christmas season arrives.
“We just do it for everyone else,” Elsie Ferro said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

 

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