A life-sized Santa Claus climbing a ladder near a front door. An antique manger decorated with vintage multi-colored bulbs. A Christmas village with a decades-old Lionel train set running through it.
These are just a few of the sights we have seen in our Deck the Halls holiday decorating contests, during which we’ve visited more than 30 of the best-decorated homes on the North Fork.
This time, we hope to see even more holiday spirit as we bring the contest back for a third season. The winner will once again receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Riverhead Building Supply, the contest’s grand prize sponsor.
To participate, email your name, address, phone number and a few sentences describing your display to email@example.com or mail the entry form on page 14A of the Nov. 10 edition of the Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review. All residents of Southold and Riverhead towns (including Flanders, Riverside and Northampton residents) are eligible to enter, with the exception of the previous two years’ grand-prize winners and employees of Times Review Media Group.
George and Sandra Berry of Southold took home top honors in 2015 for their display, which includes a North Pole scene and a life-sized snowman, and the more than 75-year-old Lionel train set Ms. Berry’s father bought for her first Christmas. It runs around their spinning Christmas tree through a ceramic winter village.
The high school sweethearts put in countless hours of work preparing their house for the enjoyment of their 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren on Christmas Day.
Last year’s finalists and honorable mention recipients are strongly encouraged to enter. The deadline to submit your entry is Saturday, Dec. 3.
We will do a pre-round of light judging Dec. 5-9, so be sure to have your lights on.
The 10 finalists will need to be home the evening of Sunday, Dec. 11, when our judges — all members from our staff — will make the final rounds to decide which home is the best decorated. We will email all finalists at least one day before our visit to let you know an approximate time we’ll stop by. Our judges will arrive in a van provided by Red Carpet Limo of Rocky Point, the event’s transportation sponsor.
We will judge your home based on style and taste, the difficulty of setting up the decorations and the uniqueness of your display. We will consider interiors, exteriors or both.
The winning house will be featured on our real estate page in the Dec. 14 issue, along with three honorable mention recipients.
Do you think you have the best-decorated house on the North Fork? Once again, we aim to find out.
Top file photo: Inside the Southold home of last year’s contest winners George and Sandra Berry. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)