A fun entry ended up snagging first prize in the open residential category for the Vankleek Hill Winter Wonderland of Lights contest.

Shannon Renaud’s entry which featured “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” placed first, winning $500 in Vankleek Hill bucks. You can visit that entry at 38 Derby Avenue in Vankleek Hill.

Second-place went to Jason Hall, Randi Tolhurst and their children, Parker and Reagan Hall, for their entry at 95 Higginson Street. The prize is $250 Vankleek Hill bucks for that household. In third place was 39 Union Street, decorated by Darryl and Linda Lepage. They win $100 in Vankleek Hill bucks.

In the eco-category, which encouraged decorators to use repurposed items, or to make their own decorations, or to use natural greenery (although lights were permitted), the first-place winners were Meghann and Remo Wicki, at 6395 Duval Road. They win $500 in Vankleek Hill bucks. In second place were Brynn and Linda Crawford, at 60 Union Street. That household wins $250 in Vankleek Hill bucks. In third place were Louise and Brian McCulloch, at 69 Main Street West, winning $100 in Vankleek Hill bucks.

In the business category, Vert Fourchette, at 117 Main Street East, placed first, winning $250 in Vankleek Hill bucks. Vert Fourchette gets a special mention for using found objects as part of their market display in the alley. Brian’s Place, at 34 Jay Street, placed second, winning $150 in Vankleek Hill bucks. In third place was Jade Garden, at 85 Main Street East. That business wins $50 in Vankleek Hill bucks.

The contest was organized by the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association, with $2,000 in support from Hydro One in the form of a community grant, $250 each from Wylie Property Maintenance and Hillcrest Funeral Home, and all advertising and promotion donated by The Review.

Judges said the decorations everywhere were outstanding and in many cases, the varied decor made it difficult to judge.

In the end, the judges agreed that it was about how the overall decor made one feel, and not about the number of lights, or the size of a home.

This entry, which features the Grinch, placed first in the overall residential category of the Winter Wonderland of Lights contest.

The contest entries are indicated on the map below. You can enjoy many more decorated homes as you make your way around Vankleek Hill.

Sproule, who is president of the Vankleek Hill BMA, said that next year’s contest may take advantage of advice from the judges.

“One of our judges said there should be an “all-out” category for those who created incredible displays. Sometimes there was so much going on it was difficult to find a theme or focus. But that’s okay! But I think we need a category for these over-the-top decorators who so obviously love the holiday season,” said Sproule.

Vankleek Hill bucks are a shop-local initiative of the Vankleek Hill BMA. Most businesses in town accept them in the way that a business would accept gift certificates. Business owners have BMA membership cards which they can use to exchange Vankleek Hill bucks spent at their businesses for Canadian currency at a local business which has agreed to act as the “buck bank.”

Here is a map of the entries for those who would like to see the entries! Note that the two entries on the outskirts of town were omitted; in one case, visitors would have to drive down a driveway which could have created a traffic jam.