With the Christmas holiday season approaching it’s time to “Light Up Marysville.” The city’s Convention and Tourism committee is encouraging residents to participate in the third annual Christmas lighting contest.
“This is becoming a favorite Christmas tradition,” said Barb Kickhaefer, the committee’s vice chairperson. “It’s fun to drive around town to see all of the decorated homes with your friends and family. It’s also neat to see this friendly competition bring people to Marysville. That’s good for our local economy.”
More than 700 ballots were cast in last year’s contest that featured 49 homes.
“That’s a good number,” Kickhaefer said. “We hope to have around 50 participate this year.”
To be eligible for the contest, participants must live in the city limits. By November 20, the group is asking people to enter the contest and to encourage their neighbors to enter, too.
Residents who wish to participate may register at the Convention and Tourism office, 617 Broadway; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call Michelle Whitesell, director of Convention and Tourism, at 785-619-6050.
Entries are due by November 20 so a map can be designed listing all of the participants and their addresses.
“We are excited to introduce a few new categories,” Whitesell said. “This year we will have a Judges’ Choice category where a group of locals will pick their favorites in town. We will continue to have the People’s Choice category so the public can vote for their favorites, too. We are bringing back the Clark Griswold Award, which seems to be a fan favorite, but we are also introducing a Reason for the Season Award, which is a more classic take on Christmas.”
Winners of the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice will each receive $100. The winner of the Clark Griswold Award and the Reason for the Season Award will each receive $50.
The Clark Griswold Award is based on the character from the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, wants his family to have a “good old-fashioned family Christmas” so he goes out of his way to take care of all of the Christmas preparations — from finding the perfect Christmas tree to buying Christmas presents. To show his Christmas spirit he covers his house in 25,000 twinkle lights.
“The Clark Griswold Award will be given to the house that’s a little over the top,” Whitesell said. “It doesn’t mean that the house is decorated in a tacky fashion, it means that the house itself could light up Marysville, and that there are more decorations than usual on one house.”
There will be a competition for businesses, too. The winner of the business category will receive an advertising package. Interested businesses follow the same procedure to sign up for the contest as city residents.
Brian and Jackie Fragel won last year’s lighting competition.
“We like to get our whole family involved in decorating the house, our kids really enjoy helping us,” Brian said. “The best part about Christmas lights is that kids and adults enjoy them. It’s a tradition to drive around and look at all of the lights. The more lights that are up, the more festive the town looks.”
Voting starts December 1 and concludes December 24. Winners will be announced Christmas Day.