As part of the City’s Light Up the Night tradition, citizens were encouraged to enter a contest where Lacombians vote for their favourite displays in the categories of residential and commercial buildings.
This year the commercial winners, the staff of the downtown Field Crop Development Centre, received a free half page advertisement and the residential winner, Alvin Sahlin, was given a brand-new 50” TV.
“When I was putting out my lights, my neighbour came out to ask if she could borrow a ladder.
“Her daughter came out and said I had a very nice display, and things like that. She told me I should enter the contest, so I thought about it and said finally, “Yes, okay I’ll enter and see what happens,” said Sahlin.
“It’s fun and it was exciting to win. I didn’t expect to win though, because there were other houses that were as good or better than mine, but I guess this is what people were in the mood to see.”
Sahlin’s display actually plays music and the lights flash in accordance with the songs.
He has a handmade ‘Season’s Greetings’ sign in his yard that has made headlines where he used to live, in Edson.
Sahlin and his wife both enjoy decorating for the season, and he said that he has many more decorations to put out next year.
“I have a lot more, but I don’t have a yard big enough, so I couldn’t put up everything that I wanted to. Next year, it’ll be a bit bigger and a little bit different,” he said.
Next year, the Sahlins might enter the contest again because he said it is a good way to get people out of their homes and looking at lights.
“My wife and I really like going out to look at the lights. You get different ideas and get to see what people do. There was one yard that was all inflatables and it looked really great, and it’s that kind of stuff that the kids like,” he said.
“What I enjoy about the season is friends and families getting together. The reason for the lights is to put a light in kids’ eyes and make them go, ‘Wow.’ It’s all part of the season.”
Meanwhile, the staff at the downtown Field Crop Development Centre took to the festive season and decorated the windows and offices of their building.
“The provincial building has been a pretty strong cornerstone of downtown for a long time.
“We have over 40 staff in that building, and it came up at a staff meeting that one of the things that would be nice to do would be to decorate the building, certainly for the season,” said Director of the Feed Crops Branch, Mark MacNaughton.
“Staff took the initiative decorating all the windows so that it could be seen outside. “As a result, we entered it into the lights contest and were awarded first prize. Everyone basically took a window or an office and did their individual touch on that under the Christmas theme.”
The City does the contest with sponsorship by the Lacombe Express, General Appliances and Home Hardware.
“We couldn’t do the contest without the support of sponsors. Every year that the sponsors come back, we’re able to make the event bigger and better. The event is a community participation piece. Most people put up lights and if there is an opportunity to win something, that helps get people involved, too,” said Guy LaPointe, community economic development manager of the City.
“We would really like to see that participation level elevated and maybe that our community could be known for their lights. Then people could check out the LMC lights, take a tour of the community and then maybe stick around and do some shopping.”