Light Up Langdon promises to be bigger and brighter than ever this holiday season.
The hamlet's annual holiday decorating contest is entering its third year, and with no COVID-19 restrictions in effect, will be expanded to include two Christmas markets and a public tree-decorating competition.
Put on by the Langdon and District Chamber of Commerce, Light Up Langdon emerged in 2020 as a community-wide decorating contest. According to Terri Torraville, the chamber's treasurer and a local business owner, the initiative intended to spread some holiday cheer throughout the community during the first holiday season of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We started this during COVID as a way to lift up the community a bit and have something that was engaging but didn’t require personal interactions,” she said. “It was very well received and we get lots of participation. We decided to make it an annual event.”
After two successful decorating contests, Torraville said the chamber agreed to expand Light Up Langdon this year. The event will include two simultaneous Christmas markets on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.– one at The Track Golf Course put on by the chamber of commerce, and one at the Langdon Fieldhouse put on by the hamlet's local community association. The two markets will boast more than 60 vendors in total, and each venue will boast a hot chocolate stand, operated by members of Langdon's local boy scouts and girl guides.
Taking advantage of recent upgrades to Langdon Park earlier this year – including the planting of new evergreen trees – Torraville said the 2022 version of Light Up Langdon will also feature a public tree-decorating competition.
“The first two weeks of November were strictly open to businesses to rent a tree to decorate,” she said. “Now it’s open to families and the community if they’d like to choose a tree and decorate it with their family name on it.”
According to Torraville, a QR code will be on each decorated tree and people can go online to vote for their favourite.
“It’s just going to be a really nice community event,” she said.
For local families who want to participate in the house-decorating contest, Torraville said there are three separate categories: Griswald, lights-only, and best theme. Winners of each category (as determined by a committee of chamber representatives in December) will receive prizes that were donated by chamber businesses.
Torraville, who in addition to her role on the chamber of commerce is the owner of Indus Graphics, said a knock-on benefit of the competition is the exposure it provides Langdon's burgeoning business community.
“We have sponsorship money from local businesses and we actually use that to purchase gift cards from chamber member businesses for the contest prizes,” she said.
“I think it gets people shopping from someone they didn’t know was here, or who they might not normally try out.”
While Light Up Langdon is still a relatively new holiday activity, Torraville said it's already become a time-honoured tradition in the hamlet.
“There’s a lot of participation in the community, even among people who don’t enter the contest,” she said. “I think when your neighbours up the street are all making the effort to decorate, even putting up a few strings of lights to get into the holiday spirit – I think that inspires people.”
For more information on Light Up Langdon or to register to take part, email email@example.com