Let's light up the community this holiday season!

The Social Center's judging for the Annual Arthur G. Hooper Decorating Contest is between 5 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019.

Homes and businesses in New Russia, Elizabethtown, and Lewis will be judged in categories of Most Original, Most Beautiful, and the Spirit of Christmas. Winners will have their names engraved on a permanent plaque and receive a gift from the Social Center.

Please contact the Center with your address if you wish to be included in our route or nominate a neighbor: 873-6408 or info@elizabethtownsocialcenter.org.


How to be a Contender


Many people ask how our winners are chosen. Our panel of judges varies each year and has different ideas for what winning decorations should look like. However, some tendencies seem consistent among judges from year-to-year. If you are looking for advice, here are our tips:


1. Contact us with your address. You do not need to sign up to win, but we cannot guarantee you will be on our route unless we know where you live.

2. Judges seem to prefer the look of incandescent lights over LEDs. No one is staunchly anti-LED, but a majority of winning decorations have been incandescent or warm LED. Most judges do agree the two types should rarely be mixed. However, you can find LED's that look very much like incandescent, like "warm white."

3. Judges seem to enjoy both all-white and multi-colored displays. One single color is rarely chosen as a winner.

4. Judges prefer a display which has an overall design with a sense of tidiness and uniformity. Displays with lots of varieties of lights and decorations randomly scattered about are not often selected.


5. Sometimes less is more. A yard chuck-full of organized decorations is all sorts of fun, and often a contender. But just as often, a small display that is unique and well-presented takes a prize.

These are just a few observations from past contests. The most important thing to remember is to create a design that you enjoy coming home to each night! We highly recommend ignoring our tips in favor of your personal preferences.


2019 Winners

In Elizabethtown, the Spirit of Christmas award goes to Dawn and Paul Fenton at 38 Water Street. The Most Beautiful award is shared between Justin's Small Engine Repair behind Aubachon Hardware and the neighboring residence of Jeanne Raymond on Hand Avenue. Doug and Christina Mitchell won the Most Original award.


In Lewis, the Spirit of Christmas award goes to Tina and Frank Bigalow at 9423 US Route 9. Amy Chapuk at 8583 US Route 9 won the Most Beautiful award. Most Original goes to Andy and Jennifer Cassavaugh at 41 Hulbert Road.


Businesses in Elizabethtown as well as the Town Highway and Golf Course did a wonderful job making our town center festive! Thank you to the following businesses who helped light up the community: Flower Designs by Tracey, Aubachon Hardware, Park Motor Inn, Namaste Inn, and the Arsenal.


We have several Honorable Mentions in Elizabethtown. We highly recemmend touring Dougan Lane to see the wonderful lights at Mountain Lake Services, Darlene and Denny Mitchell's and Carol Hume's houses. Park Street has lovely displays at the homes of Jay and Candy Kohen, Toni Mowery, Bill and Wendy Doherty, and Mountain Lake Services. Take Evans Street to see more at Nicole Hathaway's. Make sure to drive along the alley behind Aubachon's to see the award winners!


Other Honorable Mentions include: Donna and Josh Bennett at 8246 River Street; Chrissy and Joe Olsen at 7026 US Route 9; Patty Phillips' on Water Street; and the perfectly lighted tree of Bob and Kathy Phinney's on Partridge Road.


We would like to give Lewis Honorable Mentions to Chrissy and Ken Whittemore on US Route 9; Cindy Bassett at 256 Wells Hill Road; Wanda Duso at 8534 US Route 9; Jerry and Kristy Mitchell on Denton Road; Jerry and Candy Mitchell at 622 Mitchell Hill Road; Mary and Phillip Reynolds at 8567 Route 9; and Brett and Kristy Cave at 21 Pine Country Way.


Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for creating a festive atmosphere in our community!


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