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Couple wins chamber contest

Best decorated home

January 3, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

With the Nativity Scene showing the baby Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph was a major part of the house in Lehigh that won the third annual Christmas Decoration Contest.

It is located at 617 Shadyside Street and Elaine and Sal Smith worked for weeks in getting all the ornaments and lights up.

The winner of the Christmas Decoration Contest was announced by Inke Baker, the interim executive director and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce.

Article Photos

Sal and Elaine Smith in front of their home, which won the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce's Third Annual Christmas Decoration Contest.

"We had several entries and they were all very well done, very pretty," Baker said.

And Lehigh had a lot of homes this year that were decorated.

"We saw so many nicely decorated homes when the judges rode around in a bus to view the homes," she said.

Sal Smith said his wife loves to decorate and he does "all the work."

Laughing, he pointed to other areas of the yard and inside the house where his wife had a large Christmas tree covered with collectibles.

The Smiths said they didn't have any idea who nominated them, but that it was a nice surprise to be selected.

They started decorated in 2010 and have been adding a little more each year.

"I have used hundreds and hundreds of extension chords," Sal Smith chuckled. "Going to be a nice electric bill."

Last year, he said that the electricity probably cost around $150 for the bright lights. This year, with the additional lighting, he estimates that the electricity will cost around $225.

But that's not a lot of money for a couple that loves to decorate, to have a beautiful yard at Christmas time.

"It's all been a lot of fun," Sal Smith said.

He estimated that there may be at least 300 electric chords in the yard, but when lit at night, the yard becomes a holiday beauty.

"Lots of people have come by to look at it," he said.

His wife added that a lot of things used to decorate the yard were items that they had made.

Both were married before and were widowed and after they met, and brought both of their Christmas decorations together, they found they had a rather large collection.

Their home was listed as an honorable mention in last year's competition.

"When the judges took the bus ride, they saw so many beautifully decorated yards. But this yard impressed them. It was a hard choice because so many other homes were well decorated," Baker said.

Other homes that were nominated for this year's Christmas Decoration Contest, according to Inke Baker of the Chamber, were:

- 2907 21st Street SW

- 4006 5th Street West

- 4907 Bygone Street

- 623 Covington Meadows

- 625 Covington Meadows

- 2 Crestwood Circle South

- 503 East 5th Street

- 307 East Bougainvillea Road East

- 1017 Eighth Street

- 645 Grand view Drive

- 105 Hamilton Avenue

- 5 Hamilton Avenue

- 904 Leeland Heights Blvd.

- 217 McArthur Avenue

- 617 Shadyside Street

- 503 Shadyside Street

"Three homes on Shadyside Street were nominated and that is where the judges selected the winner," Baker said. The addresses of the winning homes could not be published earlier because of newspaper deadlines for the weekly paper.

"Hopefully, may of them will still be up this week, but after that, people start to take them down," Baker said.

She emailed a copy of the winning homes so hopefully a lot of people, she said, were able to drive by them over the holidays.

Many residents of Lehigh said they thought the community had more homes this year than in any other year.

"It made our community of Lehigh Acres really stand out," Baker said.



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