The First Night Oneonta committee has announced the winners of this year’s Festival of Lights contest.
The Festival of Lights took place from December 18 to January 3 in Neahwa Park in Oneonta. The committee organized an opening ceremony and activities on December 31st.
Ashley Parker, chair of the board of First Night Oneonta, said about 100 people visited the tent during the New Year’s Eve celebration to enjoy free hot chocolate, popcorn and entertainment from Cosmic Karma Fire. , Mike the Juggler, Drum Quest and The Hill City Ice Queens who dressed up as Anna and Elsa from “Frozen”.
The weather also cooperated that night.
“It was such a warm night too, we got lots of compliments saying how happy and grateful the families were that we put this back together,” Parker said.
The committee asked residents to choose their top three displays, and each ranking received a certain point, Parker said. The points were tallied and the top three displays were Casella Waste Systems first, Oneonta Boys & Girls Club second and Brooks’ House of Bar-BQ third.
Parker said many people commented on Casella’s exhibit, which had a dumpster depicting the Grinch’s sleigh with an inflatable Grinch and had his partner-in-crime, Max the dog, pulling the sled.
The Oneonta Boys & Girls Club exhibit was a gingerbread house.
“The effort, time and detail they put into this magical real-life home was exceptional,” Parker said. “A lot of kids stopped by this exhibit and wanted to come in and play and have their picture taken.”
Third place at Brooks’ House of Bar-BQ was Santa’s BBQ Chicken.
Five Star Subaru and Cleinman Performance Partners sponsored this year’s decoration contest. The first place winner received $500 and $500 will go to the winner’s favorite charity; second place received $300 and $300 to charity and third place received $200 and $200 to charity. Parker handed out checks to winners on Friday, January 14.
Parker said, “Brooks donates all of his winnings to First Night.” She said Casella is donating her $500 to Friends of Recovery in Delaware and Otsego Counties. The Boys & Girls Club donated $300 to the homeless shelter operated by Opportunities for Otsego.
Vicky Klukkert, editor, can be reached at [email protected] or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.