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Light Up the Night winners

Trevor and Shelly Ludwig decorated their home with neat, sophisticated white and blue lights, earning them Most Elegant.1 / 6
Santa Claus, tinsel trees and a variety of toys fill the south window at Past and Present Home Gallery. (Jessica Sly | Echo Press)2 / 6
Past and Present Home Gallery's north window features snow white trees and a crystal nativity scene. (Jessica Sly | Echo Press)3 / 6
Multiple snowmen, a team of reindeer and a choir of mice earned Jon and Jaci Stepan the Best Novelty prize. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)4 / 6
Colorful, light-wrapped trees and a geometric roof earned Dave and Cheryl Olsen's home the Most Unique designation. (Jessica Sly | Echo Press)5 / 6
Jeanne and Darcy Kramer's large, detailed nativity scene took home the prize. (Jessica Sly | Echo Press)6 / 6

The Echo Press' third annual Light up the Night contest paved the way for spectacular displays, whimsical designs and brilliant lights.

Though snowy weather got in the way of a jaunt across the county on Dec. 6, the Echo Press judges managed to complete their task of choosing the victors on Dec. 7. The race was closer than ever this year.

All Douglas County residents and businesses were eligible to win, except for last year's winners.

The number/letter listed before each address corresponds to map locations.


C. Past and Present Home Gallery

619 Broadway St., Alexandria

Bright snow-kissed trees illuminated in blue lights provide a peaceful ambiance in the north window. In the midst of the tranquility sits a gold-accented crystal nativity scene.

In the south window, a Christmas setting comes to life, with a watchful German shepherd, children's toys strewn about, and full-sized Santa, snowman and penguin. Large ornaments hanging from the ceiling bring it all together.

And if you take a peek through the front doors, you just might glimpse some nutcracker soldiers guarding the door to Santa's Workshop.

Most Elegant

2. Trevor and Shelly Ludwig

3104 Sundance Circle, Alexandria

Brilliant blue icicle lights line the house with precision, as softer white lights in twin bushes and bough-wrapped porch posts give the home a warm ambiance. The rest of the yard is made complete with a simple fence of lights and modest nativity scene.

Best Novelty

4. Jon and Jaci Stepan

9875 Co. Rd. 7 NW, Brandon

A squad of snowmen and Santas greet passers-by with Christmas cheer. The rest of the yard is populated by a choir of mice, a lone penguin, streaming lights and bright angels. You can even catch a glimpse of Santa's team of reindeer or a decorated tree in the window.

Best Nativity

5. Jeanne and Darcy Kramer

6487 Co. Rd. 8 NW, Alexandria

In this beautifully painted nativity, three wise men bring gifts to baby Jesus as Mary, Joseph, a shepherd and little lamb admire the child. Up above, an angel watches over them all. The iconic scene is sheltered by a rustic wooden stable.

Most Unique

8. Dave and Cheryl Olsen

2219 Ridgewood Dr. NW, Alexandria

Green. Blue. Red. These colors are front and center as strings of lights surround every tree and line the geometric angles of the house. Rudolph leads the rest of his fellow reindeer with his bright red nose and awaits Santa's command. The look comes together with multicolored lights framing the yard and hologram lights projected on the front of the house.