Cassville residents help light up city in Christmas contest

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Randy and Benni Stockton, at 103 Skyline Drive, took first place in the Cassville Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Lighting contest. The chamber thanks all residents and businesses who participated and helped make the season bright with beautiful lighting decorations.

Participants, winners help spread Christmas spirit

Every year, the Cassville Chamber of Commerce hosts a Christmas Lighting contest, giving Cassville residents a chance to literally put their home up in lights and showcase their best and brightest holiday decor.

This year, first place went to Randy and Benni Stockton in Wildwood Estates at 103 Skyline Drive.

Garry and Tess Elliott, at 802 Old Exeter Road, took second place in the city's annual Christmas Lighting contest. Julia Kilmer/

"We normally put up Christmas lights," said Randy Stockton. "We weren't really expecting to win any contest."

Stockton said it usually takes a couple of days to get all the lights and decorations up. This year, he said they had Ultra Clean Exteriors, a Cassville business, put up the lights. Their biggest motivation for decorating for the holidays are their children, Stockton said.

"We have four kids, and they always loved it when we put up the lights,"he said. "And now, we have five grandkids -- and they still love it when we light up the house."

Second place honors went to Garry and Tess Elliott at 802 Old Exeter Road, who have been decorating their home for the holidays many years.

"We've had lights for many years, and I didn't realize there was a contest until five years ago," said Tess Elliott. "The chamber called and said, 'You've won third place.'"

Elliott said if the weather cooperates, they can get the decorations up in one day, but if not, it can take two or three days. After so many years of practice, they've got a system.

"I've got it pretty organized to where I can get it done easily," Elliott said. "Garry does all the lights on the house," she said. "And, I set up everything in the yard and bring out all the extension cords. We have everything on dusk-to-dawn timers."

What about the electric bill for all those lights?

"It gets it up there a little, but it's worth it, and we enjoy it," she said. "I adore Christmas, it's absolutely my favorite [holiday]."

In her decorations, a vintage Nativity scene is featured and a field of deer. Last year the couple won first place in the contest.

"The chamber sends out letters, and I'm usually surprised because I forget about it," Elliott said. "It's nice [to win], but we don't do it for that. We just love doing it."

Third place went to Cindy Carr in Chinquapin Estates, and honorable mention was awarded to Rusty and Phyllis Arnold at 403 W. 15th Street.

First place winners were given a $25 gift certificate to the BBQ Station, second place received two certificates from Pizza Hut and two certificates for a value meal at Sonic, third place received a market basket from Forever Yours Embroidery and honorable mention received certificates from Subway.

Cassville businesses also participated in the contest, with Roaring River Health & Rehab, at 812 Old Exeter Road, taking first place, receiving a sign to display at the business and a traveling trophy to keep until the 2017.

Winners will be invited to attend a chamber board luncheon this month, where they will be presented with their awards.

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