NEWBERRY COUNTY — Homeowners will have the opportunity again this year to compete and possibly win some cash in the annual Lights of Newberry County Competition.
The event, which is hosted by the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Newberry Electric Cooperative, will award a $150 cash prize to the property that best exemplifies the category entered.
“The idea behind it is to create a bit of a tourism effect,” said Michelle Long of the Chamber. “People like to go out and look at the Christmas lights anyway, so we thought we would just create a friendly competition for that.”
The judging, conducted by a group of three impartial locals, will commence on the evening of Dec. 16. with all applications being due the day prior.
Long said that once all applications have been received, a map of all participating houses will be formulated so that interested parties can tour the competition sites.
“It will get people traveling around the county,” Long said.
This year’s categories are Traditional Christmas and the inaugural Funky Christmas, the champion of each receiving the $150 top prize.
“Traditional Christmas would be more of your religious or Santa, what you typically think of when you think of Christmas,” Long said. “And Funky Christmas might incorporate a more whimsical atmosphere.”
The Chamber said it created this new category based on entries in years past that did not fit neatly into either of the then separate Religious or Traditional categories.
The typical number of participants is usually between 15 and 20 houses from all over the county.
“One was practically in Union,” said the chamber’s Liz MacDonald.
The chamber encourages creativity and originality but does ask that competitors decorate in good taste.
“We hope to create fun, friendly competition and get people to drive around the county and just see some of the parts you wouldn’t necessarily venture out to,” Long said.
Applications can be obtained at the chamber, located at 1209 Caldwell St. in downtown Newberry, or by visiting www.newberrycountychamber.com.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.