BERLIN – Residents’ bright ideas and creative cheer shined through in the first ever Light Up Berlin contest.
Officials announced the winners of the Light Up Berlin contest this week after more than 30 homes entered the new competition. The home decorating contest was created to give local families some something festive to enjoy this holiday season when the pandemic has prompted the cancellation of so many traditional activities.
“Thank you to everyone who entered the contest,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “So many families had a wonderful time on their magical journey through town.”
In the weeks leading up to the competition, participants strung lights, set up yard decorations and even configured setups to play holiday tunes for passersby. Though 36 homes entered the competition, the contest motivated many of the town’s residents to light up their homes whether or not they were competing.
“It really seemed the entire town was lit up,” Wells said.
She was pleased at the strong amount of interest in the contest, which awarded prizes to several different homes. Wells said judges were overwhelmed with how creatively the homes were decorated.
“The judges had a difficult time deciding and there were a few ties,” she said.
The Clark Griswold Award for the brightest house in Berlin went to 114 Maple Dr. while 326 William St. #201 and 208 Broad St. earned honorable mention. The Kevin McCallister Award for the most creative house in Berlin went to 101 Middle St. with honorable mention to 113 Davis Ct. and 102 Tingle Rd. The George Bailey Award for the most traditionally decorated house went to 414 S. Main St. with 108 Cedar Ave. and 294 Powell Circle earning honorable mention. The Charles Dickens Award for the most spirited house in Berlin went to 108 Bryan Ave. with 7 Burley St. and 614 William St. earning honorable mention.
On Maple Drive, Devon Voisine and his family started decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving and have been adjusting their display ever since. The home, which judges named the Clark Griswold Award winner, has lights adorning its roof, countless illuminated yard displays and several inflatable characters, highlighted by Baby Yoda and, fittingly, Clark Griswold.
“Christmas is my dad’s favorite time of year,” Voisine said. “He has always gone above and beyond to make it memorable for my siblings and I. This year I wanted to pay it forward. We wanted to share a sense of hope and holiday spirit given the chaos of this past year.”
While there’s plenty that catches the eye at the Maple Drive home, Voisine said the part of the display he likes the best is arch that features a projection of various holiday scenes, including a juggling snowman and Santa’s workshop.
The hardest aspect of the display to put up though was the lights on the roof, as Voisine formed triangles, working from the outside in, all while being careful not to step on any bulbs during the process. The effort was worth it, however, as passersby are continually awed by the home’s display.
“People have been very enthusiastic about our decorations,” Voisine said. “We have had people take photos in front of the house while others roll down the window and yell a friendly ‘thank you.’ One family even left us a homemade ‘Best Lights Award’ that we now have hanging on our tree.”
Click over to www.facebook.com/thedispatchoc for more pictures of all the winners and the honorable mention homes.