Christmas lights are bringing holiday spirit to Okotoks neighbourhoods, and the Town is providing an opportunity for residents to share their hard work.
The second annual Christmas Light Tour begins Dec. 12 at 6 p.m., but those who wish to have their homes included on an interactive map must submit their entry to the Town by Dec. 6.
Mayor Bill Robertson brought the tour to life last year.
“I wanted to do this for a while because people put up great displays,” he said. “You might take your kids around, take the family, drive around and look at Christmas lights and sometimes you get back and someone might ask, ‘Did you see the lights over at such and such?’
“No, you didn’t see those, you didn’t know about them.”
There’s less chance of missing out on those displays now, as up to 25 homes with “outstanding light displays” will be included on the Star Map on the Town website, so the public can take a tour of their neighbours’ hard work.
Owners of those top 25 homes will also receive a certificate and gift package delivered personally by the mayor.
Robertson said he’s pleased to see the Town contribute to residents’ enjoyment of the holidays.
“This is an annual tradition,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to drive around and look at Christmas lights, look at somebody else’s great efforts.”
Last year 18 homes were listed on the map, and he hopes to see the number increase this year, as there are plenty of houses that go all out at Christmas.
It’s a great way for people who put in the time and financial investment to be recognized for their work and creativity, he said.
“People have spent all this time, and maybe they’re on a cul-de-sac that doesn’t get a lot of traffic and they would like people to see their display, but a lot of their work can be appreciated by many more people,” said Robertson.
He said if a display isn’t entirely put together yet, it can still be submitted before the deadline, as long as all lights are twinkling by Dec. 12.
Residents should also be mindful of their own schedules, and not participate in the tour if they plan to be away between Dec. 12 and Christmas Day, he said.
“We don’t want to have somebody on the list that might potentially be going away, so people drive around to look at their house and there’s no lights on at all and all these people driving by,” said Robertson. “We don’t want to advertise anybody’s home being unoccupied.”
To be included on the map, visit www.okotoks.ca and complete the online Christmas Light Tour form. Participants will be asked to include a sentence or two about their display, the address or cross street, hours lights will be on, and photos of the display (at least 3MB in size).