17112020 News Photo: Brya Ingram/STUFF First National Christmas Light Competition – First National Team
Organisers are aiming for a bigger, brighter sequel as Marlborough’s Christmas lights competition returns.
The First National Marlborough’s Christmas lights competition last year had 24 entries and sackfuls of positive community feedback.
This year the team are pushing to have more Marlburians involved, whether that be more homes entering their displays or people voting for their favourite property.
First National Marlborough business operations manager Carys Evans said they hoped to build on last year, following such a good response.
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“Originally we said it was a community event that connects neighbours and engages Marlborough in the festive spirit, that was our tag line. We’re just continuing that on in the same kind of spirit,” Evans said.
“This year, obviously there may or may not be less people travelling, so it means we can make people excited to be home and do something different because they’re not usually here around Christmas time.”
Evans said last year a lot of people got behind entries in their communities in Blenheim and surrounding towns including Renwick, Picton and Seddon.
In 2019, over 800 votes were cast in the competition, with the winning dispaly going to the Ingpen family, from Renwick, who took home a $1000 prezzy card.
Winner Rowan Ingpen said they had plenty of appreciative comments on their display that featured loads of fairy lights, a blow up Santa and reindeer.
Those comments spurred Ingpen add more decorations to his home and even though some were stolen, the Christmas spirit was restored when members of the community donated decorations.
The traditional photo with Santa will look a little different for many Kiwi kids this year as some malls introduce strict Covid-19 rules.
Evans said the Pezzy Card prizes would be back this year. First prize would win $1000, second $500 and third $250.
“The whole idea is that we can announce the winners before Christmas so that then they can use that to make an amazing dinner for family, or buying some extra special presents, or more lights or buy themselves an extra present for putting so much work into the house,” Evans said.
“I think we’re just really excited as being the first year last year, it was so well received, we got great feedback from not only the people that registered but also the people that voted.”
A map of registered homes would be released on December 4 so people could visit and then vote for their favourite display.
Registrations for the event opened last Friday. Those wanting to enter could do so at www.marlboroughrealestate.co.nz/more/christmas-lights-competition-sign-up.
Map released and votes open: Friday, December 4
Votes closed: Sunday, December 20
Winner announced: Tuesday, December 22