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Kinsmen kicks off annual festive lights competition

Participants can win a donation for charity; entries accepted until Dec. 18.
0112 Lights file C
Back in 2020, Ashley Laframboise and Harry Home took their 10-month old son Zachary Laframboise to Elliot Place to enjoy the mild December weather. JESSICA NELSON/St. Albert Gazette

Do you have the most elaborate or awe-inspiring holiday light displays in town? Flip the switch and check out the second annual Light Up St. Albert Festival Lights Competition. 

Hosted by the Kinsmen Club of St. Albert, this merry and bright display of lights is all about spreading the cheer and fundraising for charities. 

The club is spreading holiday happiness while searching for the Most Festive Street and the Most Festive Home in St. Albert. There is a first and second prize for each category. In the Most Festive Street category, there is a first-place prize of $1,500 and a second-place prize of $1,000. Winners select a charity of their choice and Kinsmen will donate the entire amount to their charity. 

In the Most Festive Home category, the first-place house wins $750 and second-place winner receives $500. In the home category, the prize money is divided equally in a 50/50 split between the homeowner and their charity of choice. 

“This has been a tough year for all of us. It’s the second year of the pandemic. People are physically and mentally tired and we all needed something to cheer us up. People loved the competition last year, driving around and looking at different houses,” said Martin Frigo, service director.  

The local club started the event in December 2020 at a time when the COVID pandemic clamped down on many activities everyone enjoyed. Prior to the vaccine rollout, outdoor events with social distancing were the only acceptable activities. 

Wanting to inject fun and inspiration into the community, Kinsmen devised an outdoor light competition everyone could take part in. Last year nine homes and four streets submitted their names. This season, Frigo hopes more homeowners will share their creativity to inspire others. 

“It’s dark outside, and when you see a house on the street or in a park that is all lit up, it makes you feel good. It makes your heart warm to see how some residents have spent their time and resources to spread their cheer to everyone,” Frigo added. 

Judges will follow seven criteria: originality, fun factor, technical effort, entertainment value, community spirit, festive spirit, and wow factor. 

The competition is limited to any single-family dwelling, including apartments, within City of St. Albert boundaries. No commercial or professional displays will be accepted. Participants are limited to one category only and homes must be accessible by the public. 

The competition started Nov. 27 and entries will be accepted until Dec. 18. Kinsmen require a photo of participants’ houses submitted either online or via email to [email protected]  

Five judges will visit every house from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18 and tally scores. Winners will be announced prior to Dec. 25 and amounts will be forwarded to recipients by Jan. 2. Updates will be provided on the Kinsmen Facebook page. 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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