Beiseker businesses and residents will once again brighten the night skies this holiday season during the Village of Beiseker's annual Christmas light decorating contest in December.
Gail Peckham, the Village’s assistant chief administrative officer, said the contest is a popular and long-standing holiday tradition in Beiseker.
"This year, we’re calling it 'Deck the House and Light Up Downtown,'" she said. "We just felt this was an especially difficult and trying year. We want to get everyone to participate this year to light up Beiseker and hopefully lift everyone’s spirits."
According to Peckham, the contest includes categories for both households and businesses. The winners in each category will receive $100, while runners-up receive $50 and third-place entries claim $25. Rather than cash, she said the six winners will receive their prize money in the form of Beiseker Bucks – a local form of currency that can only be redeemed at businesses in the village. The Beiseker and District Chamber of Commerce mails out the $10 coupons to households every November.
“It’s just a way to keep those dollars here in town and also to help out some of our small businesses,” Peckham said. “It helps out the small families and businesses...and then the money goes back into the community, so it’s win-win for everyone.”
Three judges will tour the community and collectively determine the winning displays on the evening of Dec. 13, Peckham said. She added the winners and runners-up will be announced Dec. 15.
“We encourage everyone to participate,” she said. “That can be in a small manner, or they can decorate their entire houses, their front door, their windows or their storefronts. Because it’s been an especially difficult year, we’d like to lift everyone’s spirits by having as many lights on in the village as possible.”
Contestants won't be the only ones whose Christmas lights brighten Beiseker's night skies this December. According to Peckham, the Village will also get into the holiday spirit by lighting up the municipality’s office and Founders Park.
“It’s like a little mini-festival of lights,” she said. “Our public works department is busy getting all the lights and getting creative with their masterpiece again this year. Those lights will be turned on, at the latest, on Dec. 1.”
Peckham wasn’t able to say how many of Beiseker’s residents participate in the yearly contest. However, she said even those who don’t take part tend to enjoy the event, as they have the opportunity to drive or walk around the village and check out the Christmas lights adorning people’s homes.
“It’s just a fun little thing to do,” she said.