HARKER HEIGHTS — A crew of 11 judges made its way around the Harker Heights city limits Dec. 9-11, checking their lists twice to determine the winners of the city’s 14th annual Heights Lights on Parade Outdoor Lighting/Decorating Contest.
Voters cast 331 ballots online, and 12 entries won prizes for their Christmas decorating skills.
“The scores came close in many of the divisions, and the judges enjoyed themselves,” said Nichole Broemer, recreation and events coordinator. “I would like to thank the entries for participating and encourage citizens to join in the contest next year.”
Broemer blamed the weather for the lower-than-usual participation.
“The weather has been crazy since Thanksgiving and people weren’t able to get their lights up with it being so cold,” she said.
Residents entered the free contest based on four divisions, which were broken down into the type of home and location. Awards were given for first place, second place, and People’s Choice in Division I, Division II and Division IV. In Division III, awards were given per area.
This year’s contest had 16 entries. New this year was the People’s Choice award. Residents visited the Parks and Recreation Department’s website for a list of the entries’ addresses and drove around to pick their favorites. They returned to the website to vote.
Joseph and Chris Dillow’s display garnered them a first place and People’s Choice award in the manufactured home category. Their display is choreographed to music and has several moving parts.
“We always put the lights out for the kids every year, and if we don’t put them up by a certain time people keep asking us when they will be up,” Joseph Dillow said. “Winning is a nice recognition for our efforts. We do it for the kids because they really enjoy it.”
This year it took them three weeks and more than 30 hours to complete their masterpiece because of the chilly temperatures,
First-place winners got an ornament, a gift card, Frost Fest T-shirt and a sign to place in their yards. Second-place winners got an ornament and a Frost Fest T-shirt.