Since 1985, the Town of Frankford has held an annual holiday decorating contest. Town judges secretly ride about, scouting out the house with the best display.
“We try to inspire people to enjoy the holiday. It’s not so much a competition,” said Town Manager Terry Truitt. “We usually have anywhere from 35 to 50 homes competing.”
“There is a random, unsolicited judging night that is picked between now and the 24th,” she explained. “I can be truthful to tell you that it has not occurred yet, so it’s not too late,” Truitt noted. “There are multiple categories. The ‘Best Overall’ home is the home with the most massive display that looks good both at night and during the day. There is a first, second and third place for that category.”
“The secondary category,” she continued, “is ‘Best Door.’ If someone doesn’t want to go all-out and compete for the Best Overall award, they can decorate their door. The top two doors will win a prize.”
The winners will be selected prior to Dec. 24. Ribbons are handed out as soon as winners are selected, and the prizes will arrive after the first of the year. Several families have been building their displays up for years.
“I’ve seen the yards grow,” recalled Truitt.
All winners will receive a ribbon that they are asked to hang on their door. The first-place prize for the best overall decoration is a $75 prize. The decorators of the second-place yard will receive $50, and third place winners will win $25. The winning door’s decorator will receive a $50 prize; with a $25 prize going to the runner-up’s door.
On top of the monetary awards, 10 additional homes will receive ribbons and an honorable mention from the town.
“It’s a highly competitive thing. When one house sets up a display, we usually see their neighbors start putting up displays, too. People come to Frankford to ride through and see the lights,” said Truitt.
“There’s no religious context to the contest, anybody is welcome to join. We’ve never had any Chanukah lights, but it would be nice to see that,” she added. “It’s something we do in the best interest of the season.”