A South Jordan home, sparkling with more than 12,000 multicolored lights on the house and throughout the yard, captured top honors in the Christmas outdoor lighting contest.
The residence of Mr. and Mrs. Derk Christensen, 2309 W. Temple View Circle (10350 South), was selected from more than 100 entries, according to Dennis Wood, chairman of the judging teams.A neighborhood and seven regional winners also were chosen, Wood said.
The contest, the renewal of a similar program sponsored by the Deseret News before the energy crisis blacked out homes and streets in the mid-'70s, was co-sponsored by the Deseret News, Intermountain Electrical Association and Utah Power & Light Co.
Fourteen homes on 3325 West at 53rd South were selected as winners in the neighborhood classification.
The winning home, ablaze with lights and fantasy characters cut from plywood by Christensen and painted by his wife, are set up on the roof and in the yard. Large trees also are covered with lights.
"We've always decorated, but we just decided to add more this year," Mrs. Christensen said. "We were later this year, and it usually takes about 21/2 weeks to set things up."
The Christensens' five married children and 18 grandchildren often pitch in to help with the decorating, Mrs. Christensen said.
The cut-out characters include Santa Claus in his sleigh with reindeer on the roof, as well as snowmen and stars. Wrapped packages, the kind found under most Christmas trees, are piled under a large pine tree that has been decorated.
Foil-covered posts wrapped with red ribbon outline the driveway and walk, and more than 15 wreaths, made by the Christensens from their own grapevines, round out the design.
As winner in the contest, the Christensens will receive a 25-inch color television set from Granite Furniture Co. Regional winners will have their choice of a portable TV, VCR or microwave.
In the winning neighborhood, the homeowners combined to tell the story, "T'was the Night Before Christmas," with large plywood panels in front of each home. Thousands of lights brighten the street, and individual homes have added their own cut-out characters.
The residents, working together for the second year, developed the theme, according to Mrs. Allen Adams, a resident.
"We haven't come up with a special name, but we toyed with the idea of Christmas Street West," she said, referring to Glen Arbor (1745 S. 15th East), known for many years as "Christmas Street."
Traffic has been heavy in the neighborhood after it was listed in the Deseret News last week as one of the entries. The judges said they had to wait about 15 minutes until they could drive through the area.