More than 130 local homes and businesses have already signed up to share the beauty of their outdoor holiday decorations through Light Up Chatham-Kent, a community-wide online effort to celebrate the season.
Municipal officials say through the site Let’s Talk Chatham-Kent residents are placing photographs of their decorations and the location of their neighbourhood on a map that can be used to view the photos online or to drive or walk through listed areas.
The campaign already has homes from Blenheim, Dresden, Wallaceburg, Ridgetown, Erieau, Chatham and rural areas.
More are coming online each day.
The map is mobile phone friendly so residents can take it with them when touring.
Participating residents are asked to turn on their lights each night from roughly 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Homeowners who register their home on line will be eligible to win prizes donated through the Blenheim Business Improvement Association (BIA) and Ridge Landfill Community Trust, the key sponsor for or the Festival of Light and the Light Up Our Neighborhood celebration.
A random draw for prizes (one entry per registered home) will be made Monday, December 14.
The campaign grew from the efforts of Blenheim’s Light Up Our Neighbourhood Committee, the 2020 Christmas Lights Tour in Wallaceburg and Dresden Shines.
All three groups wanted a wider platform from which to share their efforts.
Scott Tate, who organized the night portion of the Blenheim Festival of Lights that was sidelined by COVID-19 this year, said the ‘Light Up’ idea demonstrates community resiliency.
“There’s always reason to celebrate,” he said in a press release.
“Whether residents celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice or the Season of Giving let’s celebrate together.”
“This just shows the amazing spirit of C-K,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff, in a press release.
“It’s a grass-roots idea from residents and we’re just really happy to be able to help.”
Those viewing the displays are asked to respect private property and use COVID-19 protocols.