Decks the halls: Contests start: Nikiski, Soldotna, Kenai kick off annual holiday lighting competitions

Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

'Tis the season for holiday decorating contests, and the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce, as well as the Community Council in Nikiski, want to encourage people to nominate their neighbors and commercial businesses that have extraordinary holiday decorations on display this year to recognize their efforts.

"We call it Nikiski Night Lights," said Audrey Johnson of the Community Council. "This will be our seventh one and I've had several people come in and tell me they're already getting their lights up."

Nomination forms are available at the Nikiski Post Office, and time is of the essence to nominate those who go above and beyond.

"They're due in on (Friday), we'll drive around and look at them on (Saturday) and announce the winners around (Monday)," Johnson said.

Johnson added that typically a dozen nominations come in from the Nikiski area.

January Yeager, project coordinator at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, said they have also already received interest in Soldotna's Christmas Decorating Contest.

"It's been light the last few years," she said, "but we've already gotten a few entries this year. We have three so far."

Nomination forms are available at the Soldotna Chamber in the Visitor Information Center.

"The deadline to get nominations in is Wednesday," Yeager said.

In Kenai, nominations are also due soon. Tina Baldrige, of the Kenai Chamber, said they need to have all nominations for their Annual Kenai Holiday Decorating Contest in by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15th.

Nomination forms can be picked up at the Kenai Chamber, located adjacent to the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

Putting up extra holiday lights often means paying a little extra when the electricity bill comes. As such, Homer Electric Association provides each city with $300 in energy credits to help offset expenses.

"Each chamber chooses the winners and also determines how to allocate the $300 credits," said Joe Gallagher, spokesman for HEA.

"Also, as part of the HEA Wise Watts program, we have been promoting the use of LED Christmas lights as a way to save energy," Gallagher added.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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