Putting on the Glitz

In this year of curtailed travel and sheltering in place, our homes have taken on new importance. In addition to being refuges from the world for our families, they’re now doing double duty as remote offices, schools, and even houses of worship.

This contest celebrates how we use our homes to share the joy of the holiday season. Even before the invention of the electric Christmas tree light in 1882, men and women have decorated their homes for the holidays. Greenery, dried flowers and fruits have been used for wintertime decorations since at least the mid-19th century.

The internet age has seen holiday decorations taken to a new level, as spirit-filled suburbanites cover every available surface with lights, add a musical sound track, and post videos of the show on YouTube.

As fall nights lengthen into winter, let us celebrate how we decorate the exteriors of our homes. From the electric candle in a window to the over-the-top extravaganza of the Griswold family in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, our decorations are a way we share holiday joy with friends, neighbors, and people we’ve never even met.

Categories

Awards will be given in two categories: traditional and contemporary.

Traditional decorations are displays inspired by sources such as Colonial Williamsburg or the Victorian era. Typical elements include candles in windows, use of natural materials, single colored lights. The traditional style embraces the “less is more” school of holiday decorating, and the results are lovely and elegant.

Contemporary decorations may include, but are not limited to use of multi-colored lights, lights synchronized with music, molded plastic figures, inflatable elements, moving elements, and music. Contemporary displays sometimes say that “less is a bore,” with results that are fantastic and entertaining.

Rules and Fees

  1. Open to single family homes, duplexes, and apartments in Centre County. Commercial establishments are not eligible.
  2. An entry may be a single home or coordinated multi residence display. Multi-residence displays must be on adjoining properties.
  3. Decorations must be visible from the street or a public sidewalk. Judges will not enter properties to view back or side yards.
  4. Entrants’ names will not be released to the judges.
  5. Use of political messages or figures is prohibited.
  6. Entrants must submit a completed application along with up to three photographs of no more than 2MG each and/or a video less than 30 seconds long.
  7. Entry Fee: $10/single home, $20 group entry.
  8. Entry deadline, Friday, December 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Prizes

There will be first, second, and honorable mention prizes in both the Traditional and Contemporary Categories.  Additional prizes for Best Use of Technology, Best Use of Natural Materials, and “Wow” Factor may be made at the judges’ discretion.

Judges

A panel of five judges will select the contest winners. They will visit the entries separately and will meet online to select the winners and award prizes.

  • Keith Bierly, Owner, Forefathers Book Shop, Rebersburg
  • Rebecca Inlow, Board Member, Rowland Theatre, Philipsburg
  • The Hon. Pamela Ruest, President Judge, Centre County Court of Common Pleas, Bellefonte
  • Fritz Smith, Executive Director, Happy Valley Adventure Bureau
  • Mary Sorenson, Executive Director, Centre County Historical Society, State College

Visit the Festival Store!

Visit our online store to buy Festival t-shirts, posters, friendship bracelets and our special jigsaw puzzle.

Menu