Ipswich Christmas lights competition winners shine bright

A CHRISTMAS lights display with a 5m tall inflatable reindeer and snow machines has taken out the coveted People’s Choice Award in this year’s council-run River 949 Christmas Lights Competition.

The house at 36 Mahogany Street, Raceview received 969 votes and is owned by the Smart-Watkins family.

“It’s absolutely amazing to receive the People’s Choice Award,” Michael Watkins said.

“We literally put six strings of lights up last year and then the wife said maybe we should add a few more this year.

“Anyone who knows me knows I like to take things to the fullest extreme, and the end result is this year’s display.”

Mr Watkins said he looked to include unique items not commonly seen and create an interactive display with a traditional feel.

“To me Christmas lights are not about sitting in your car and having a look, they are about getting out and walking through the display, so that’s what we’ve created,” he said.

“The response from people has been really full on, it’s all been positive and we have people who are coming back every night just because their kids enjoy it so much.”

The most unique part of the Watkins’ display is a 5m tall inflatable reindeer.

“I was after something to fill a gap near the garage and I stumbled across it online and picked it up. I like to try and find things that other people don’t have, something a bit unique,” Mr Watkins said.

With a 5m inflatable reindeer already a part of the display it is hard to imagine but Mr Watkins said he would definitely “go bigger” next year with the display.

“There is definitely room to go bigger,” he said.

Other winners in this year’s competition were:

  • Best residential winner: 5 Tindle Street, Redbank Plains
  • Best residential runner-up: 39 Rawlings Road, Deebing Heights
  • Best street winner: Nova Court, Flinders View
  • Best street runner-up: Normanton Close, Rosewood
  • Best business/organisation winner: Alara Queensland, 33 Salisbury Road, Ipswich
  • Best business/organisation runner-up: Ultimateleglance Event & Wedding Planning, 4 Banbury Close, Bundamba

Ipswich City Council Economic Development and Marketing Chief Operating Officer Ben Pole congratulated this year’s winners.

“Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition and well done to the winners,” he said.

“This year’s competition was one of our most successful to date with more than 70 entrants.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people helping spread Christmas cheer across Ipswich.”

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