The results are in and the winners of the fifth annual Echo Press Light up the Night contest have been determined.
It was a tough call for the judges, Echo Press employees Michelle Weller and Celeste Edenloff, as there were plenty to choose from. In all, there were 20 entries - five businesses and 15 residences - that were judged over a two-day period.
From Osakis to Brandon and everywhere in between, those who entered the contest this year really stepped up their game.
For instance, at the home of Jon and Jaci Stepan in Brandon, you will find 90 plastic blow molds ranging from Christmas choir singers and candles to snowmen, Santa Claus and reindeer, along with several cardboard cutouts, seven inflatables and hundreds of lights.
And at the home of Al and Deb Paulzine in Garfield, you will see thousands of lights along with several decorations and a candy cane lit archway.
The judges highly suggest rounding up the family, grabbing some hot chocolate and hitting the road for a Christmas lights tour around the county. There's plenty to see, not only with this year's entries, but also those who didn't enter. It will be worth your time, effort and gas.
And the award goes to...
Here's a look at the winning entries, along with some honorable mentions. Addresses for all entries are listed below.
• Best Decorated Business (judging based on storefront): The winner is Past and Present Home Gallery. Honorable mention goes to Real Estate by Jo and Knute Nelson's Healing Garden.
• Most Elegant (judging based on symmetry, sparkle, coordination and beauty): The winners are Jim and Shanon Rushford. Honorable mention goes to Bill and Melody Thoennes and the Krause family.
• Best Novelty (judging based on yard art/inflatables and more): The winners are Jon and Jaci Stepan, with honorable mention going to Ronald and Tami Sik, and Rick and Aja Mayer.
• Most Unique (judging based on creativity): The winners are Al and Deb Paulzine. Honorable mention goes to Britta and Robbie Alverson.
• Best Nativity Scene: The winner is St. John's Lutheran Church, with honorable mention going to Greg and Sue Odell.
Where to go
Names and addresses for all entries:
• Past and Present Home Gallery - 619 Broadway St., Alexandria
• Knute Nelson's Healing Garden - 420 12th Ave. E., Alexandria
• Jump 4 Fun inside Viking Plaza Mall - 3015 Hwy. 29, Alexandria
• Real Estate by Jo - 203 Broadway St., Alexandria
• St. John's Lutheran Church - 101 Park St., Garfield
• Bill and Jessie Blanchard - 1016 Fillmore St., Alexandria
• Jim and Sharon Rushford - 3414 West Lake Jessie Dr. SE, Alexandria
• Delmer Jantzen - 1106 Birch Ave., Alexandria
• The Krause Family - 4169 Rue de Frenchman NE, Alexandria
• Randy and Terri Goeke - 2511 Darling Dr., Alexandria
• Ronald and Tami Sik - 524 5th Ave. E., Alexandria
• Rick and Aja Mayer - 321 Fairgrounds Rd., Alexandria
• Rick and Barb Keepers - 1444 Brophy Park Road NW, Alexandria
• Eric and Tami Norum - 4711 West Latoka Lane SW, Alexandria
• Bill and Melody Thoennes - 175 Willimantic Drive NW, Alexandria
• Greg and Sue Odell - 110 Sumac Dr., Alexandria
• Deb and Al Paulzine - 2655 Deer Run NW, Garfield
• Jon and Jaci Stepan - 9875 County Rd. 7 NW, Brandon
• Matt Mogensen - 506 Central Ave. N., Brandon
• Britta and Robbie Alverson - 108 Lavens Lakeview Dr., Osakis