SOUTHWICK – The Celebrate Southwick 250 Committee is planning to “Light Up Southwick” for the holidays as one of the first events in the year-long anniversary celebration.
Southwick 250 Committee Chairman James Putnam said residents across the town are encouraged to participate in Light Up Southwick, a holiday home lighting contest.
Residents should register for the contest, which starts Dec. 1 and continues throughout the month, via southwick250.org. Putnam said the deadline has been extended and residents can still sign-up.
Winners will be announced Dec. 31 during the town’s inaugural First Night celebration at the Southwick Recreation Center.
Putnam said he believes this is the first contest of its kind in decades.
“This is certainly the first house lighting contest in recent times,” he said. “I vaguely recall that there may have been some sort of contest in the 1970s or 1980s, but not sure of who sponsored it or how long it ran.”
The contest is for exterior lighting only and there will be four categories: Vintage; Farm; Most Creative; and Viewer Favorite. There will be a group of independent judges.
“We are trying to get non-Southwick residents as judges to ensure independence. Our Events work group has been reaching out to folks in neighboring towns that we think would be good judges,” Putnam said.
All entrants will receive a gift bag and there will be three winners in the first three categories who will receive memorabilia and gift certificates.
Light Up Southwick is a way to celebrate the town and the holidays, Putnam said.
“Before we designed any events, we agreed that we wanted to do things that would build community spirit, be family-oriented and focused on things that are special about Southwick,” he said. “Also, we wanted to complement and reinforce the calendar of events already produced by other community groups.”
Putnam said the contest fit all the criteria of the committee.
“The house lighting contest was a home run on all counts,” he said. “Our house lighting event enables participating families to show off their holiday decorating, and the rest of us to enjoy an evening drive around our gorgeous community seeing all these wonderful displays.”