Southwick is lighting up for the holidays, again

Deadline to enter is Dec. 11

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick 250 Committee is no stranger to changing plans, being flexible and creating events in a matter of days during the pandemic, and its Light Up Southwick holiday lights contest is a prime example of how this committee has rallied around the community this year.

This Light Up Southwick 2019 contestant on Berkshire Avenue included “250” in lights on the front porch. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

The Committee hosted the event last year as a kick-off to what was planned to be a year-long celebration of the town’s 250th birthday. Most of those planned events were postponed until next year and several smaller socially distanced events took their place. There was no plan to host the lighting contest again this year . . . until last Saturday.

“A town resident messaged me on Saturday asking about whether we would do a holiday lighting event this year. I replied back ‘no’ as we had already checked that one off last year,” said Southwick 250 Committee Chair James Putnam, “She had pulled at my heartstrings a bit, telling me how much she and her family enjoyed it last year.”

After some thought, Putnam decided to give the community what it wanted – more cheer to end the year.

“We could do it safely under the public health guidelines because folks can view from inside their vehicles and distanced from other families,” he said. “We could quickly put together the event since our events work group had already run a highly successful Light Up Southwick event last year. With so many holiday traditions disrupted this year, how nice to produce a family-oriented event for our community at this stressed time.”

Many homes are already displaying holiday lights and Putnam encouraged everyone to join the fun. The deadline to register a home or business is Dec. 11 and the contest runs through Dec. 29. All participants will be included in a virtual map.

“Sunday afternoon I reached out to about five of our volunteers for their view and their willingness to help produce an event,” said Putnam. “I was not surprised — their response was positive, enthusiastic and swift. By Sunday night we were off and running. Several of us put together the program on Monday, and that evening we launched on Facebook. In less than 36 hours, we have 15 enrolled participants. By the time we cut off on Friday, I expect that we will have over 25 participating homes and businesses.”

A Southwick 250 volunteer is putting together a route map, similar to what was provided last year. Putnam said it should be completed and posted on the Southwick 250 Facebook and for folks to start using this weekend.

“The 250 Committee is excited to support all of those who have decorated their homes for all to enjoy. Our beautiful town with its farmlands, forests, hills and lakes is a spectacular setting for these wonderful holiday lighting displays,” Putnam said. “My thanks to the volunteers who are working hard this week to produce this event. A donor is paying for the cost of the prizes so that there is no net cost to Southwick 250. Above all, thanks to the families and businesses who have decorated for the holidays and volunteered to be part of our Light Up Southwick 2020. Southwick is indeed spectacular in both its natural beauty and its people!”

If you wish to enroll your home or business, contact [email protected], [email protected] or send the group a message on Facebook. Participants are asked to leave their lights on every evening until 9 p.m. between now and Dec. 31.

There are no categories or divisions, but prizes will be awarded in two divisions: People’s Choice and Random Drawing of enrolled participants.

For the People’s Choice Award, judging will be by town residents who email their choices to [email protected] by Dec. 29, 2020.

First prize is one copy of the new book Southwick Revisited available in February, one copy of the Around Southwick book, one Southwick 250 sweatshirt in an available size and one decal. Second prize is one copy of the new book Southwick Revisited available in February, one copy of the Around Southwick book, one Southwick 250 mug and one decal. Third prize is one 250 mug and one decal.

Prizes will be announced in early January.

“We look forward to hearing from all of you who have worked so hard to decorate your homes and businesses at this holiday time,” said Putnam.


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