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Brighten Baxter lighting contest winners to be announced Dec. 17

As last year, the tour of homes will provide an opportunity to drive through neighborhoods some may not have visited before. Along the way, they are likely to see numerous light displays in the city.

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A nativity is the focal point in front of the house on Birchdale Lane in Baxter, one of the 14 homes that participated in Baxter's holiday lighting contest in 2020. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Participants who are part of the second annual Brighten Baxter holiday lighting contest can expect to see a round of judges visiting Thursday, Dec. 16.

Winners will be announced Friday.

People will then be able to tour the Baxter neighborhoods to see the work that went into the animated and expansive light displays and no doubt find additional homes lit up for the holidays as well.

Baxter City Council member Connie Lyscio came up with the idea for Brighten Baxter in 2020 as a way for families to get together, enjoy time outside and create light displays that the entire community could appreciate when many traditional holiday events were being canceled or curtailed because of the pandemic. The contest brought out a host of entries.

“There seems to be a really good feeling about it, which was my goal all along,” Lyscio said in 2020.

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There were six contest entries for 2021, down from the contest’s first year, but Lyscio said she hoped Brighten Baxter would become a staple and even encourage Brainerd to join in a friendly competition between the cities.

As last year, the tour of homes will provide an opportunity to drive through neighborhoods some may not have visited before. Along the way, they are likely to see numerous light displays in the city.

First prize is a $100 credit from Crow Wing Power or Brainerd Public Utilities, second prize is a $75 credit and third prize is a $50 credit — all on the January residential energy bill.

Contest entries will be judged by an anonymous committee on a point system as judges view the entries curbside. Categories for judging are: first impression, 25 points; design, 20 points; and originality, 20 points.

This year’s entries include veterans from 2021 and new participants who were able to take advantage of many mild early winter days to decorate homes and yards.

Look for the Sunday edition of the Dispatch for a list of the entrants, announcement of winners, a map and scavenger hunt list to add to the experience.

Related Topics: BAXTEREVENTS
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