Entries are now open for the Christmas Light Up Competition hosted by CWP Renewables and GE Renewable Energy across Yass Valley and Boorowa.

With more than $2,000 worth of prizes up for grabs across five categories, the competition is sure to bring some festive cheer this season.

Entries are open to all properties within the Yass Valley local government area and Boorowa district including Frogmore, Murringo, Rye Park, and Rugby.

The five categories are best lit house/residence, best commercial/non-residential, best novelty display, best renewable energy display, and best rural property (farm gate).

GE’s Project Manager for Bango Wind Farm Iain Blair said 2021 has been a challenging year for many in our community and it will be exciting to see homes lit up with dazzling displays once again.

“Categories include a renewable energy display to encourage people to think about how they can celebrate in an environmentally sustainable manner,” he said.

“Many local residents and business owners go to great lengths each year to create uplifting Christmas light displays.”

Bango Wind Farm’s Community Engagement Officer Lyn Dickson is helping to coordinate the event and said the competition began last year to create a bit of Christmas magic and a positive vibe within the community.

But although many may see the competition as a way to celebrate the Christmas spirit. Others may see it as CWP Renewables and GE Renewable Energy engaging with the community to promote the positive aspects of wind farms, which contain large turbines, infrastructure that has received some backlash from the Yass Valley community in the past.

One of the winners of the best novelty category last year decorated an old rusty Holden ute with Santa hanging out the window, which Lyn said was a lot of fun.

“It was very last minute, but it was extremely well received, and people got on board quite well.”

“I used to take my children on trips around wherever we were living to look at Christmas lights,” she said. “It’s been a difficult year for many people and this just helps to create a little bit of magic around Christmas.”

Lyn plans to create a map with dots indicating where people can take their families for a tour to look at the lights.

“However, it is important to continue our social distancing when viewing Christmas lights and we strongly recommend people remain in their cars to view the area’s fantastic displays.”

The judges will be comprised of a representative from GE, CWPR and the Yass Valley Business Chamber.

The display must be visible from the street to be eligible for the competition.

Entries will be judged on: Presentation – general appearance layout and design; Light – use of colour, form and composition, variety and repetition; Creativity – innovation and passion and reflection of the spirit of Christmas.

“What I want to do is encourage people, no matter how small their display, to enter and to give it a go to help to create magic for our communities, and particularly for our children.”

You can enter via the website here or there are copies of the entry form available at the Yass Valley Library, Visitor Information Centre and the council building.

There is no entry fee and judging will occur between 13th and 15th December 2021 between 8pm and 11pm.

Participants should ensure that all lights, animations and decorations are in place and activated for the judging nights.

Entries close on Friday, 3 December, with winners to be announced after judging is completed.

By Brianna O’Rourke