Submissions for Chamber’s Winter Wonderland display contest close this weekend | PostIndependent.com
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Submissions for Chamber’s Winter Wonderland display contest close this weekend

A Christmas lights display illuminates Wednesday night at the Rifle residence of Karen Wagner, contestant in the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Winter Wonderland Holiday Display contest.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

The wind from Wednesday morning’s winter squall necessitated some repairs to Karen Wagner’s holiday lights display, but it was work she was more than happy to do.

Wagner’s Rifle home is bedecked with light strips, her windows and fence glowing with snowflakes and her lawn strewn with inflatables and seasonal signage, a delicate dance of colors, wires and fuses seeking the balance between festive fluorescence, electric expenses and blown breakers.

Wagner’s home is one of the contestants in the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Decorating Contest.



“I just love the lights of Christmas,” Wagner said. “It’s a fine line of lots of lights and not blowing circuits.”

Wagner’s display is affectionately named “Light Up the Sky,” referencing a song by the band The Afters. She’s been accumulating different pieces of decor for around 25 years, currently owning hundreds of light strands and about 20 inflatables. She also shells out for Halloween.



A U.S. Postal Service employee, Wagner strategically takes the four-day weekend of Thanksgiving to assemble the display, taking around three of them on average to create the finished project, she says. Her interior decor, however, adds another two-and-a-half days of work to the display, which she spreads out across her work schedule.

She can’t estimate how much money her collection has cost her, but, “It’s worth every penny.”

“Christmas is my favorite time of year, and setting up my display not only brings me joy to come home to after long days at the post office, but I also love spreading Christmas cheer to anyone who passes by, especially children,” Wagner said. “The electric bill triples during the Christmas light season, which makes Xcel Energy one of our biggest fans.”

The competition includes residential and business entries, with prizes given for each in “Glenwood Gold,” a local community currency. First place in both categories earns $500, second earns $250 and third gets $100. A randomly-drawn voter will also receive $100 in Glenwood Gold.

Entries can be submitted online by sending in a photograph. The entry page also asks for a title and a caption.

Submission closes on Sunday at midnight. Voting begins immediately after. The winners will be announced on Jan. 3.

More information is available at GlenwoodChamber.com/winter-wonderland-2/.

Decorations adorn the front yard of Karen Wagner, a Rifle contestant in the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Winter Wonderland Holiday Display contest.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or rallen@postindependent.com.


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