MAYFIELD, Ohio — During a pandemic, when getting a picture snapped with Santa or caroling with a group is not wise, Mayfield Village Recreation Director Shane McAvinew sought an idea that would bring holiday cheer, but not invite spreading of the coronavirus.
Happily, he came up with a couple of such ideas. For the first time ever, village residents are being invited to take part in a holiday lighting contest and then, come Dec. 5, residents will get a visit from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and some elves as they head down each of the village’s streets on a decorated float.
Named “Festival of Lights,” the lighting contest will offer residents and business owners several chances at prizes. The contest is divided into five categories.
Those categories include: “The People’s Choice Award,” in which anyone who chooses, whether a village resident or not, can cast a vote for their favorite display on the Mayfield Village Facebook page; “The Clark Griswold Award,” named for the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and Chevy Chase’s portrayal of Clark Griswold, in which the award will go to the home with the most spectacular display or best tribute to the movie; “The Most Village Award,” for the home that best represents Mayfield Village; “The Best of Show Award,” which will go to the display that “blew the judges’ minds”; and “The Best Business Award,” for the business with the best display.
“We wanted to do something different this year, and that was kind of hard because of the pandemic,” McAvinew said. “So we thought of a lighting contest as a way to have some fun and to bring unity. We’ve already got more than 60 people signed up (as contest entrants).”
McAvinew, along with the village’s Administrative Assistant Diane Wolgemuth, will serve as village judges. Other judges will include Lyndhurst Municipal Court Judge Dominic Coletta; Mayfield City Schools Superintendent Keith Kelly; Village Council President Stephen Schutt; and Mayfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Joe Corradetti. The judges will drive about the city and will cast votes for all the winners, with the exception of The People’s Choice Award.
McAvinew said that the idea is to get as many people involved as possible. He said that, as of Nov. 25, he has noticed only two businesses decorated with lighting, but said that any business, whether they officially enter the contest or not, will be a participant.
Residents, who must enter to participate, can find an application on the village website, or by calling McAvinew at 440-471-1041. To be judged, decorations must include lighting and must be lit by Dec. 11. Judging will take place during the evenings from Dec. 12-17.
The contest will actually include a sixth award, that for “Neighborhood Participation.” For this award, McAvinew has divided the village into eight sections. All homes, whether entered into the contest or not, can help win the neighborhood award by decorating for the holidays.
The prize for Neighborhood Participation will be a private pool party for 200-plus people next summer at the village’s Parkview Pool, along with a $200 gift card to buy food for the party.
The prize for The People’s Choice Award is $300 in local gift cards, and the prize for the business award is $200 in local gift cards and 2021 membership at Parkview Pool. The prizes for all of the other awards are $500 in local gift cards, plus 2021 memberships at Parkview Pool.
As a bonus, all participants will receive a special gift from the village.
As for Santa and his family’s ride through the village, it will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. A float will take the place this year of the fire engine that usually took St. Nick about the streets. Residents are asked to place a decorated box at the end of their driveways and, if they do so, an elf will put inside of it a treat for children.
See more Sun Messenger news here.
©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
Visit The Plain Dealer, Cleveland at www.cleveland.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.