CHARLES TOWN – Hundreds of people traveled to Charles Town and Ranson to see the beautiful Christmas lights – and to vote for their favorites.
The contest, in its second year, saw over 100 entries, many of which focused on the holiday season theme: A Very Buddy Christmas. Many have simply brought in brightness in all ways.
Spectators were treated to one vote per person, picking their top picks for Charles Town and Ranson. Selecting the best griswold and the best light show could come from either city, as could the design of the best theme. A better overall neighborhood was also up for grabs.
“We had over 250 votes,” said Liz Cook, downtown coordinator for the city of Charles Town. âWe are fortunate to have such creative and festive community members working so hard to create such wonderful light shows. “
The competition arose out of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when people weren’t likely to come together, but still wanted to participate in festive activities.
âThis contest is a good thing that comes from COVID,â Cook said. âIt allowed people to slow down and renew old traditions of riding and watching the holiday lights,â she added, saying the event’s organizers, both from Charles Town and the Ranson Convention and Visitors Bureau, have heard many stories about how it is now a tradition for families.
One family that has made it a tradition is the Larcomb family. Phil and Dana Larcomb’s home in Charles Town was chosen as the first place winner for that town.
âWe are doing this, because our grandchildren love the lights,â Dana said. ” And U.S. too. “
Dana explained that they tried to turn on the lights before Thanksgiving so the grandchildren could walk through afterwards, looking at each light.
âThis is what it is about – watching their faces light up,â Dana said.
Dana explained that her granddaughter Kynleigh Milburn and her friends Grace and Roman Perez decorated the sugar cane forest section of the courtyard with their vision of a scene from the movie “Elf”. Additionally, Phil added a tunnel over the driveway which not only delighted the kids but many who walked past and stopped to cross.
âPhil named it the Tuscawilla Tunnel of Lights,â Dana said.
As the Larcombs took first place with their home on Lindsey Drive, Mike Peacock, on Lord Fairfax Street, came second and Chanell Cain, at Wood End Court, was third in the individual competition at Charles Town.
Tuscawilla Hills was a popular spot, as Chad Cook on Tuscawilla Drive won the Best Light Show category. Mary Diperna, on Sawgrass Drive, was voted Best Griswold House.
Santa’s choice in Charles Town was on Silverleaf Drive at Heather Holloman’s house, while Mrs Claus chose Virginia Bauer’s place on South George Street as her favorite. Buddy’s Pick was on Veronica Lane, at Jake Bolen’s, while Stephanie Frye, on Tuscawilla Drive, received an honorable mention. The Best Neighborhood went to Huntfield, although it was a very close race.
The Best Company selection went to Jefferson Security Bank / Kable Team Realty.
In Ranson, the best quarter honors went to Briar Run, with first place overall going to Kelly Kehoe, on Bugs Court. Second place was found on East 12th Street, at the home of Ervin Jenkins, and voters returned to Briar Run to Thumper Court for third place winners Mark and Chelsie Walsh.
The best light show for Ranson was in Deep Creek, at Wesley Wildrick’s, and the best Griswold on Glenbrook, at Moises Cardenas.
Santa’s Pick in Ranson went to Johnnie Mills on Preston Street, while Mrs. Claus chose Tommy Custer’s house on North Reymann as her favorite. Buddy’s Pick went to the Jefferson County Council on Aging on 5th Avenue.
Residents will receive cash prizes, according to Cook, while neighborhoods will receive a sign to display.