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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Lighting contest brings out the night's brightest

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Lighting contest brings out the night's brightest

The second-place winner for residential contestants is Mark Osborn, 1523 Madison St. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins).
The second-place winner for residential contestants is Mark Osborn, 1523 Madison St. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins).

By LISA BRITTON

Of the Baker City Herald

Faced with too many dark hours during these chilly winter nights?

Think lights, thousands upon thousands of twinkling bulbs adorning homes in Baker City.

This week you could take a night to pile the family in the car — or take a walk through the neighborhoods — to revel in the festive greens, blues, yellows and whites of the holiday season.

Sam and Nora Bass, 2450 19th St., again snagged first place in this year's Christmas lighting contest with their walk-through display of lights and wooden figures painted like many popular animated characters.

The contest is sponsored by OTEC and the Baker City Herald. Entries were judged by the Baker County Ambassadors, a group of graduates from the Leadership Baker program.

Bass said this year they've added a few new arches, as well as the characters of Spongebob Squarepants and Shrek.

"And some M&M guys — and girls," Bass said.

He said they've had more than 600 visitors venture through their yard so far this year.

How do they keep track?

Candy canes, Bass said.

Everyone who climbs from a toasty warm car and enters the Bass' festive world is handed a candy cane.

"That's how I know how many come through," he said.

Bass will receive a $75 credit from OTEC for first place in the contest.

Mark Osborn used more than 5,000 lights to illuminate his house and yard at 1523 Madison St.

He said it took him about eight hours over two days to decorate his place — including lines of lights running diagonally across his roof.

Osborn placed second in the lighting contest and will receive a $50 OTEC credit.

"I'll do more next year, for sure," he said.

Glenn Brooks and Matt Thornton, 2215 Third St., placed third in the contest, earning them a $25 credit from OTEC.

"We just moved here in March. This is our first Christmas here," Thornton said. "At our old house we used to blow circuit breakers if we'd run the microwave when we had all the lights on."

His favorite feature of the lighting display is the strands of lights that swoop from the chimney down to the edge of the roof.

"I was just trying something different, "I wanted to go down to the fence. Maybe next year," Thornton said.

Businesses brighten up for the holidays

Anyone exiting Interstate 84 at Exit 302 to enter Baker City are greeted by reindeer, Santa Claus, Christmas trees — even a big green Grinch — at the Oregon Trails West RV Park, 42534 N. Cedar St.

The RV Park was awarded first place in the lighting contest, and will receive a quarter-page advertisement in the Baker City Herald.

"On the porch we have Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and we have some snowmen," said Mardell McCauley, manager at the park.

McCauley, park host Sharon Good and several others worked to decorate the grounds with air-filled Christmas characters and strings of lights.

"Just mainly lights everywhere. It does take quite a while," McCauley said. "We decorate for almost every holiday. And people do like the decorations."

Robbins Farm Equipment, 3850 10th St., placed second in the business category with their tractor and baler decked out with strands of colored Christmas lights.

They will receive an eighth-page advertisement in the Baker City Herald.

More addresses to add to your light-seeing list:

Lisa Fuzi, 2406 Second St.

Patricia Lang, 2650 Main St.

Blake Marlia, 2639 Seventh St.

Bob Rhodes, 1910 Pear St.

Ron and Lois Colton, 1606 Sixth St.

Ron Hogg, 2060 Oak St.

Treasa McCauley, 2455 18th St.

Terry Shumacher, 1600 Vista Heights Dr. (visible from Spring Garden Avenue)

Steve and Sue Olsen, 2740 Indiana Ave.

Beth Mackenzie, 19265 Chandler Lane

Haines Steakhouse

People's Choice

This year the contest judges also included a number of People's Choice displays that weren't entered in the contest but still light up the night.

These are:

o The Speckled Hen and The Frontier in Haines

o Homes on 18th, 19th and 20th streets between Campbell and Broadway

o 995 Quail Ridge Lane

o 975 Petry Lane

o 900 Ninth St.

o 1500 Washington Ave.

o 2500 block of First Street

o 2615 College St.

o 1095 D St.

o 1100 D St.

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