Winner announced in 2020 Holiday decorating contest


By Daniel Winningham
Terry and Lori Carroll of 302 Dowling Drive were the grand prize winners in the 2020 “The Lights Before Christmas” holiday decorating contest. Event organizers contacted them earlier this week.
The outdoor decorations feature a large, red “Joy” sign with a carved, white nativity in the O and a white star above it, lit wreaths with red bows on both the main and upstairs windows, starry snowflakes above the windows and lights in the bushes on both sides of the sidewalk leading up to the front door.
“I was excited,” Lori Carroll said. “We usually decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, we did a little bit extra I feel like because we thought a lot of people would be driving around, looking at the lights since Covid-19. We added some more lights around our courtyard.”
The courtyard display features several strands of colored lights, a Christmas tree, wreath and snowflakes, plus a couple of snowmen.
“We try to keep it Christian based,” Terry said. “It’s the reason for the season.” But there also is a painted Santa hauling a bag of toys in the courtyard.
“This is the first year we’ve had the joy nativity,” Lori said. “We’ve always put the wreaths up and stars around the windows.”
The couple thought many residents put more of an effort into decorations and holiday displays due to Covid.

“I think people had more time this year to do that, and it’s something you could put up and everybody could drive around and appreciate,” Terry Carroll said. “We’ve had cards dropped off at our house thanking us for our display.”
If time hasn’t allowed one to drive by and view the display, check it out, for a few more days, at least.
They said the holiday display will likely remain in place through the New Year’s Day. In fact, they may stay up until Epiphany, Jan. 6.
“That’s weather-related,” Terry joked. “If it’s warm Jan. 4, it’s coming down.”
A total of 39 households were part of this year’s contest.
“I hope it turns into an annual contest,” said Aarica Stephenson, Park Center marketing/special events coordinator. “It’s definitely something that was well received. The Christmas spirit was very apparent in Perryville this year.”
The Carrolls were presented with their award Wednesday morning by Perry Park Center staff.
Voting took place Dec. 18 to 24 and the winners were notified Monday, Dec. 28. A total of 246 individuals took part in the voting.