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Holiday cheer: Niles honors residents in ‘Twinkle Lights’ decorating contest

To help spread the spirit of the season, the village of Niles Public Arts & Culture Advisory Council invited residents to take part in its second annual Niles Twinkle Lights holiday home decorating contest. Winners were announced at the Dec. 11 Niles Village Board of Trustees meeting.

Katie Schneider, community engagement coordinator for the village, said the contest received a good number of participants.

“They were all fun and unique,” she said. “It was certainly hard to choose.”

The village accepted applications from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5. All decorating needed to be done by the resident, not a professional decorator or designer, according to the contest rules. Decorations had to comply with village of Niles ordinances and housing codes.

Participation was open and free to all Niles residents. All judges serve as members of the Niles Public Arts & Culture Advisory Council.

“We had judges drive around, and we had a points system for scoring,” Schneider said.

Winners for this year’s Niles Twinkle Lights holiday home decorating contest received gift cards, ranging from $50 to $100 in value, a lawn sign recognizing the award and announcements on the village’s website and social media.

Prizes were given in multiple categories: best overall display, simple yet elegant, most whimsical and best use of technology.

Cammy Fortuna earned an award for having simple yet elegant holiday home decorations on the 6700 block of Forest View Lane. She said this is exactly the look she and her husband set out to achieve.

Fortuna and her husband affixed a red bow onto their bushes. They put garland on the railings. She said they wrapped the pillars to their porch with red and white icicle lights to create a candy cane effect.

“We are so happy,” she said of the recognition. “We are so proud to have been part of this. We’re just so happy we were selected to be winners. We’re so proud to live in Niles.”

3rd Place Best Overall Display

7300 block of Main Street

Dominika and Konrad Kazaneki

2nd Place Best Overall Display

7500 block of Howard Street

Patrick Kelleher

1st Place Best Overall Display

7700 block of Oleander Avenue

Bernard and Kathleen Panke

Most Whimsical

7100 block of Lee Street

The Potempa Family

Best Use of Technology

8000 block of Davis Street

Guido Magnelli

Simple Yet Elegant

6700 block of Forest View Lane

Tony and Cammy Fortuna