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Lions Club hosts first annual Festival of Lights, results are “pan”tastic

December 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

With options narrowing for families in New Tecumseth while the COVID–19 pandemic continues, the Alliston Lions have found a solution for a family friendly outdoor event – enter the first annual Festival of Lights holiday decorating contest.

For a minimum $10 donation, Alliston residents were able to enter their property for judging, with prizes awarded in three categories: 1st Place Overall, Community, and Griswold.

“Our Festival of Lights ran from November 15 to December 10,” said Alliston Lions Club member, and Festival of Lights Chair, Scott Cooke. “Voting ran until December 19, with many of the entrants giving more than the minimum $10 donation.”

In all, the Lions received 12 entries, plus one school (Alliston Community Christian School) entered for fun, but was not included in the judging.

“It was so difficult to choose just one winner as there was so much work put into each place,” said Cooke. “But the ultimate winner is the community as a whole.”

And the winners are:

1st Place Overall – 9 Banting Drive, Bobbi Frost (as judged by David Bradbury, Vice President of the Good Shepherd Food Bank; S.B. (Steve) Ridout, Inspector, Detachment Commander, Nottawasaga OPP; and Wendy Gabrek)

Community – 58 Nelson Street West, Virginia Cicuttini (as decided by the entrants of the event themselves)

Griswold – 62 Ontario Street, Scott Fry (as decided by Alliston Lions Club members)

Honourable mention – ACCS

Each winner receives $50, bragging rights, and the overall winner gets a commemorative sign as well.

“For next year, we will review the feedback from our members and community and move forward with planning to ensure more homes are involved,” said Cooke. “We’re even considering a Canada Day Contest, as the weather will definitely be warmer!”

The Lions say they are happy to host events such as the Festival of Lights, as it brings joy back to the community.

“[The joy is in the light displays] as well as the donations received from the entrants, that are used to make the Christmas Hamper program stronger and more visible,” said Cooke. “With the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, this is an opportunity for the community to safely have an outdoor event, too.”

This year, Lions supported more than 140 families and 200 children with their Christmas Hamper program – containing food, children’s toys and gift cards for older teens.

“We would like to thank all of our entrants, judges and the media outlets who covered the event and help promote the first annual Festival of Lights,” said Cooke.

By Wendy Gabrek

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