Sunday, May 16, 2021

Marco Lights Up!

Get Ready for the Annual House & Business Decorating Contest

Members of the Christmas House and Business Decorating Committee. Submitted Photo

Members of the Christmas House and Business Decorating Committee. Submitted Photo

At their fall meeting, the Christmas House and Business Decorating Committee announced the completion of plans for the 21st Annual Decorating Contest.

Chairman and founder, Dave Rice said, “Enthusiasm is building among Marco Island residents as we see early decorations already being installed.” Marco Island has long been noted for the community’s 2,000-plus Christmas decorated properties. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the Christmas spirit by driving around the island to see the innovative decorations. The contest is an independent event financially supported by sponsors LCEC, Centennial Bank and committee members. Preliminary Judging Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, December 11, 12 & 13

Note: Decorated properties are to remain lit on all three nights (December 11, 12 and 13) to insure that the judges may view all properties.

In the House Decorating Contest, the committee divides Marco Island into nine geographic areas with nine teams of volunteer judges who travel on every road (between 6 and 10 PM) for the preliminaries and select the top candidates from each zone. Of those selected from each zone, the top ten are selected for the finals. Businesses enjoy their own contest and are judged on their exterior decorations. Final Judging Friday, December 15, 6:30 – 9 PM

The “Top Ten” homes are judged by the House Decorating Committee on the final judging Trolley Ride on Friday, December 15. The trolley departs at 6:30 PM from long-time contest sponsor Centennial Bank (with thanks to Bank Manager Diana Aruta and her staff). Car caravans are welcome to follow the trolley to see the Top Ten as they are judged.

For the finals this year, special guests will be joining the committee in celebration. The winners of the Marco Island Center for the Arts’ Festival of Trees Decorating Contest will be guests on the judges’ bus.

LCEC and Centennial Bank have been sponsors since the contest began and their continued support speaks volumes for the many wonderful contributions and excellent services they supply to the Marco Island community. Contest Prizes

The night of the finals, the Top Ten finalists receive a finalist plaque presented by the judging team from that area. The winner of the House Decorating Contest receives a check for $250. The House Contest winner and the Business Contest winner also receive the traditional yard sign and a winner’s plaque.

The addresses of the finalists and a mention of others “worth viewing” will be provided to the local media in advance of the judging night so “Christmas revelers” may drive around Marco and view the wonderful decorations throughout the season. Committee and Judges

The Committee/Judges for the contest are: Co-Chairpersons, Dave and Jeanne Rice, Treasurer, Bob Boland, Lyn Bedell, Carla and Mike Mickes, Public Relations Chairman, Dick Niess, Larry and Judy Sacher, Liz and Bill Doyle, Ken and Diane Honecker, Jerry Swiacki, Linda Turner, Barry and Peggy Grass, Bette McGilvray, Steven Josselyn, Keith and Barbara Dameron, Kristina

Lambros, Marc Creach, Bruce Robertson, Mary Vertin, Donna and Jim Rohrbach, and Debbie and Marty Roddy. Contest Rules

Previous winners must wait five years before being eligible to win again. Former winners display their yard signs annually and continue to decorate their homes and businesses. Previous winners who are ineligible to win, but remain lit will be noted in the list of “worth viewing” homes released prior to judging.

For information and sponsorship availability, contact Chairperson Dave Rice at 239- 250-2175 or

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