Annual Ocean Pines Decorating Contest Attracts Record Participants

BERLIN – The community might seem a little brighter this Christmas as a record number of homes have entered the 2015 Light Up The Pines contest.

More than 20 families are competing in this year’s home decorating contest sponsored by the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) and Choptank Electric.

“The Light Up the Pines contest gives residents a chance to show off their outdoor decorating skills for the holidays and it gives the community a cozy, festive feel as you drive through the Pines at night,” said Teresa Travatello, OPA marketing director.

Residents have until Dec. 31 to check out the 22 homes decorated for the contest. A map of the homes, which are located throughout the community, is available at

Participating homes are being judged by volunteers from Choptank in three categories—Top Notch, Most Creative and Most Lights. A People’s Choice winner will also be chosen. Residents interested in voting for the People’s Choice winner can email their vote to [email protected].

“I think people really enjoy voting for their favorite,” Travatello said. “I receive texts, emails, Facebook messages and phone calls so I know they are out there looking around.”

The winner in each category will receive a $50 gift certificate to The Cove at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club and a $25 Choptank electric bill credit. Everyone who entered the contest will receive two LED lightbulbs from Choptank.

Though OPA has been hosting the Light Up the Pines contest since 2012, this is the first year the homeowners association has partnered with Choptank Electric. Travatello said the partnership came about after she saw other communities partnering with their local electric companies for similar contests.

“It makes sense and it got more people involved in the program,” she said.

Offshore Land residents Mary and Curtis Gooding are participating in the contest for the first time this year. Mary Gooding said they’ve always loved outfitting their home for the holidays and figured they might as well enter the contest.

“We have eight grandchildren,” she said. “It’s something we love to do for the kids.”

The family spent an entire weekend putting up lights and characters from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer around the house.

“We’ve got music playing too,” Gooding said. “The kids seem to love it because they know the characters.”

Gooding says she likes the fact that the Light Up the Pines contest encourages community members to make their homes festive for the holiday season.

“It’s nice to drive around and see the holiday spirit,” she said. “The neighborhood in the evening is absolutely beautiful.”

Participating Homes

122 Camelot Circle

11 Mayflower Court

24 Offshore Lane

17 Boatswain Drive

259 Ocean Parkway

5 Oxford Court

28 Moonshell Drive

76 Ocean Parkway

13 Sloop Lane

4 Martinique Circle

63 Boston Drive

29 Liberty Street

2 Wareham Court

110 Windjammer Road

6 Brookton Lane

71 Seafarer Lane

5 High Sheriff Trail

23 Harlan Trace

11 Stonemeadow Court

10 Leigh Drive

38 Boatswain Drive

33 Whaler Lane