For over 20 years, the Marco Island Christmas Home Decorating Committee, led by Dave Rice, has spread a little extra island cheer by acknowledging the Christmas decorating efforts around Marco and declaring an annual contest winner.
2018 Top Ten Finalists included: 91 Bermuda, 1453 Bermuda, 151 Channel Court, 1842 Dogwood, 975 Leo Court, 780 Copeland, 1591 Galleon, 1264 Whiteheart, 1208 Fruitland, and 513 Nassau.
On Friday, December 14th, judges, decked out in festive outfits, gathered at Centennial Bank for a tailgate party before boarding the “Rudolph Express” to commence final judging. As with tradition, more than a dozen cars and golf carts formed a caravan following behind the judges to view the finalists.
“We have always had the trolley in the past. Due to the trolley being sold, it was unavailable this year. The YMCA generously donated the bus for our use. Bruce Robertson, Marty and Debbie Roddy, and I decorated the school bus (both inside and out) for the evening’s festivities. Bruce made Rudolph’s antlers and Lexus provided us with the bow on top,” explains Mary Vertin.
“Seeing all the cars lined up ready to follow us is such a wonderful Marco tradition. I have such fond memories of following behind the judges. I always wished that one day, I would be a part of that group. When Dave Rice chose Steve and I to serve on the House Decorating Committee, we were simply honored. We have been in service of this committee for seven years. It’s been great,” explains Bette McGilvray, 2018 Marco Island Christmas Home Decorating Committee Contest Judge.
For nearly two hours, the caravan made its way around every part of Marco Island, singing and spreading holiday cheer as they delighted in the overwhelming, glistening, intricate displays of the finalists. After the first two stops, the judges began their voting. A vote was then held after each following stop. The top three favorites of the judges included: 151 Channel Court, 1264 Whiteheart and 513 Nassau. The judges were also extremely impressed with the dedicated annual effort of 1208 Fruitland. Ultimately, the judges were won over by the whimsical wonderland of 513 Nassau and excitedly announced the finalist as the 2018 Marco Island Christmas Home Decorating Contest Winner.
“This is our fifth year participating. We started designing and decorating in October. We are thrilled to have won. We can rest a little next year,” remarks a beaming Suzi Szczepanski. Once declared the winner, winners must wait five years to be considered for contest eligibility. Thus, giving other entries an opportunity to win.
Make sure to check out the beautiful displays of the Top Ten Finalists as part of your Marco Island holiday tradition.