Holiday light competition returns to Hopewell Borough

Eric Sucar
Members of the Girl Scouts of Holmdel admire the lights on the tree during the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting held at the Holmdel Town Hall on December 3. The annual event included a performance by the Satz School Band, the holiday lighting, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Hopewell Borough is bringing in the joyous season with its annual holiday light decoration competition, which involves households from across the community.

This is the fourth year of the competition that was created by the Hopewell Borough Recreation Committee. The competition is designed to encourage borough residents to decorate their homes for the holiday season, according to Hopewell Borough officials.

“Four years ago, we were having our meetings and thought about fun activities for the town. This competition was one of the fun things the committee wanted to try,” said Ali Myers, member of the Hopewell Borough Recreation Committee. “It has picked up a little since we started and residents seem to enjoy it.”

According to Myers, there were about 10 homes in the borough that participated in the 2018 competition.

“The people that do this competition do this almost every year. Most residents do lights on the decorations in their yard and on their house,” Myers said. “Sometimes it is more of a Christmas theme depending on the homeowner. Sometimes it is just icicle lights and pretty wreaths. The lights just really differ with each homeowner.”

Officials said the competition allows residents to go around town and see how others decorated homes.

“One family told us that they view the lights on the houses on Christmas Eve as something they do together as a family,” Myers said.

Local businesses in Hopewell Borough are asked to donate prizes for the winners of the competition.

“The donations can be a gift certificate, a membership, or something that is free. The prizes really just depend on the businesses. We do not have a set first, second or third place prize,” Myers said. “We wait to see what the business are willing to donate and decide from there the prize structure.”

Residents who wanted to participate in the competition had to register their home by Dec. 11. Each home that has registered must be decorated with lights by Dec. 14.

“I grew up in this town, and many members of the [Hopewell] Borough Recreation Committee did as well. This competition is something that I believe was done many years ago. This event brings holiday cheer,” Myers said. “This makes our town what it is and is a way for people to be involved in one way another.”

This year’s group of judges will include Mayor Paul Anzano, borough employees, and Hopewell Borough Recreation Committee members.

“The judges will be a mixture of people involved in different aspects of the town. There is nothing really specific in terms of what the judges are looking for or not looking for,” Myers said. “All the judges look for something different. This is really to see who was the most creative, or unique, or all-around best in show.”

Judging takes place on Dec. 16 with winners scheduled to be announced on Dec. 24.

“We are excited about this competition and only hope it will grow,” Myers said.