Time to light it up, Stratford

Judging has begun for the annual Light Up Stratford competition.

First-time judge Lori Szymanski scores the light display at a house on Ash Street Thursday night -- the first night of judging in this year's Light Up Stratford competition. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

Share Adjust Comment Print

It’s time to hit that switch and light up those rooftops, windows, doors, trees, and bushes.

Judging for the civic beautification and environmental awareness committee’s annual Light Up Stratford competition is officially underway as judges hit the streets Thursday for the first of four nights searching for those holiday displays that deserve recognition.

“When we go out we’re of course looking for an environmentally friendly display, so we’re looking for people who are using LED lights — so how much of your display is environmentally conscious — and we’re looking at what it looks like from the curb, and overall creativity and innovation,” said Coun. Bonnie Henderson, who has been judging the competition for the last 15 years.

Exploring the city ward-by-ward, the judges will score each display out of a total of 20 points — a maximum of eight points can be awarded for its environmentally conscious elements, five each for curb appeal and creativity, and an additional two points can be awarded at each judge’s discretion.

“Usually what happens is you have to go out two or three times in a row because each ward’s fairly big and you’ve got to drive the whole ward,” Henderson said. “You drive it once, and then you get the idea of what ones you like, then you go back and sort of judge them again to see how you feel about them.

“I know one year we took my granddaughter with us and she said, ‘Oh, this is the one that’s going to win,’ and then as we drove through the ward she said, ‘Let’s go back, I think I’m going to change my mind.’”

Once all the scores have been tallied and the judges from each ward have compared notes, winners in both the residential and business/industrial categories from each of the five wards as well as the runners up will be announced at a special celebration in January.

To be eligible for the contest, homeowners and businesses simply need to ensure their lights are on between 6 and 10 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday this week.

Following the competition on Dec. 18, the committee is once again sponsoring two free buses that will take those interested on a tour of some of the most spectacular displays in the city. This year, two buses will leave from city hall on Wellington Street at 6 p.m. for the roughly hour-long tour.

gsimmons@postmedia.com

Comments