COLUMBIA CITY — Christmas lights sparkle from porches and peaks across Columbia City, adding to the excitement of the upcoming holiday season. Some residents decorate for the joy of it — and others have a competitive spirit, vying for prizes and prestige in the annual Columbia City Community Christmas Decorating Contest.

“As chair of the Columbia City Community Christmas Decorating Contest, I hope local homeowners will once again participate in our annual decorating contest,” Columbia City Councilwoman Jennifer Romano, of Columbia City’s Southwest District, said.

The contest has been going on for many years now, creating traditions in neighborhoods across Columbia City and enabling local residents and families to bundle up, climb in the car with some cocoa and admire light displays around the city.

“Every Christmas season, my children, nephews and niece really look forward to driving around the city to check out the creativity and Christmas spirit on display. I’m excited to see this heartwarming tradition continue,” Romano said.

Participation is easy — just decorate with lights and festive decor in whatever way you choose. Be creative, have fun, and you might win. Prizes will be awarded in four quadrants of the city, and one overall winner will be chosen as well.

“With all of the Christmas decorations going up around Columbia City already, we’d really like homeowners to have their displays up by Friday, Nov. 30, if possible. The committee will be judging residential light displays the following week. Be sure to have your lights on each evening during the following week as our committee travels around to judge the displays,” Romano said. “We will choose winners from each corner of the community and they’ll win cash prizes, plaques and be recognized during one of our council meetings in December.”

“Residents are welcome to nominate their neighbors or even their own displays. Simply send us an email with your address and we will make sure we look at it,” Romano said.

Romano said the committee will judge displays, weather permitting, next week. Winners will be publicly announced in December during a City Council Meeting.

If you have questions or would like to recommend an address for the committee to check out this year, send an email to jromano@columbiacity.net.