The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC) Light Up Orillia Lake Country holiday light contest wrapped up this week by unveiling the winners of the second annual contest.
This year, 63 submissions for the contest came from Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Rama, and Ramara. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast through the chamber's website and social media.
The first-place residential winner was 12 Ashton Street where blue and white lights were draped up and down the brick facade in the style of Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Those homeowners will be given $1,000 to spend at their favourite local business.
The second-place winner was 6915 Rama Road where an old transport truck was festooned with white, red, and green lights. Third place was awarded to 77 Ward Avenue which featured various displays in the form of reindeer, trees, a snowman, and, of course, Santa Claus.
For businesses, the first-place winner was City Cutz who painted Christmas scenes on their big windows that face Colborne Street. Second place went to Ron Johnston Insurance, and third was awarded to Sanderson Monument.
The bonus prize for most social media likes went to 329 Crawford Street where the homeowners decorated their yard with more than 30 displays.
ODCC special events coordinator, Doug Bunker, says the contest generated positive feedback.
“Giving people something to do during this pandemic has been a task of ours, and it seems to be doing OK. We get people participating and involved, and now that it’s over we will think of something else,” he chuckled.
“It added a little dimension to our community, and it involved people in neighbouring counties and municipalities, which seems to be a good thing.”
Bunker thanked Hydro One and all the Light Up Orillia Lake Country sponsors for making the event a success again this year.
“It was just as successful as last year and we had a little bit more participation than we did the year before. People were getting their friends involved, and people were enjoying engaging with the contest,” he said.
Bunker says the contest beautifies Orillia during the holidays.
“We pushed the downtown stores to decorate with lights more this year, and we will keep pushing them and other businesses to get involved for years to come,” he said.
“There are some really unique ones out there such as Sunshine Super Wash who did up a neat wagon with all sorts of things. The thoughts are there, the idea is spreading, and I think it will continue for a number of years because people are very positive about being in the contest.”