The Woodbury Lions Club has announced that they are beginning a new annual tradition in town: the "Light Up Woodbury" holiday decorating contest.
"It's just something for fun, " says event creator and Chairman Lion Billy Hubert. "There are lots of people who spend a lot of time decorating their houses for the holidays, and we thought this would be a fun way to raise some money."
Contestants need to fill out a form, available from the Lion's website, and send it to the Lions with a $10 entry fee. During the week of December 17th, the judging committee will visit each entry and decide which best meets the the announced theme. "We'll do a different theme each year, " said Event Co-Chairman Frank Longo. The prize is dinner for two with the Lions Club at one of their meetings. "There are neighborhoods that decorate their houses and compete with each other just for bragging rights, " says Hubert. "This will up the ante a bit."
"It's all about quality, not quantity," said Longo, "we don't expect everyone to go "Full Griswold"", referring to the character from the movie "Christmas Vacation", "but we hope that people put some thought into the theme and how they present it." This year's theme will be Winter Wonderland. "The rules are easy, " says Hubert. "You have to live or run a business in Woodbury. The judging is based on originality, creativity and staying within the theme." Hubert added, "I remember when I was a kid, my parents would drive us around town to look at house displays. I'd like to see that start happening again."
"You don't need to spend a lot to make a display, either, " he said. "Sometimes, a simple display will be more effective than a lawn-full of blow-up props."
"We see this as a tie-in with our Luminaria display every year," says Longo. For the past 22 years, the Lions have been lighting up Woodbury on Christmas Eve by lining both sides of Main Street with Luminaria, Spanish for "festival lights" - a small paper lantern, traditional around the holidays in New Mexico that line the path into a house. Last year's count was nearly 10,000 points of light from Middle Road Turnpike, down past Sherman Hill Road. For those who don't want to build a display for their house, but still want to help light up Woodbury, the Lions will also be selling Luminaria Kits. The kits include 12 bags and candles, and instructions on how to put the Luminaria together and light them. Kits can be purchased from several locations in town, including Ace Hardware of Woodbury, C.L. Adams, Plant Country, and LaBonne's at both the Woodbury and Southbury stores. Additionally, the Woodbury Leos will be selling Luminaria kits outside of LaBonne's in Woodbury on December 8, from 10AM to 2 PM. The cost of a Luminaria kit is $9.
The Woodbury Lions have already started to light up Woodbury with their annual decoration of the Leroy Anderson Bandstand in the North Green. One-Hundred feet of LED lights, along with fresh greens and wreaths transform the centerpiece of the park into brightly lit reminder of the holidays. "It's just something else we do for the town, " says Bandstand Coordinator Lion Jim Conway. "It's one of our gifts to thank the town for all the support we get from Woodbury for our other events during the year."
Entries for the "Light Up Woodbury" contest must be postmarked by December 15th and include a check for $10. Judging will take place during the week of December 17th. Winners will be announced on December 28th.
For an entry form and more information, visit the club’s website at http://www.woodburyctlions.org