Fall City jumps into Christmas light challenge

FALL CITY - Residents of Fall City are out to prove that their Christmas lights are the best around.

After last year's Christmas light contest between Snoqualmie and North Bend, Fall City issued a challenge this year to those two cities.

Fall City resident Vanessa Allen said she saw a story in the Valley Record last year about the contest and "after realizing that there are some people here in Fall City that really go all out on their decorations, I felt we should challenge these cities."

Does Allen think Fall City's lights are bigger and better than the other two cities' lights?

"You bet your electricity bill they are," she said.

Allen said mayors from both cities were interested in the challenge she suggested, so she and fellow resident Laurie Hauglie set the ball rolling in Fall City.

Snoqualmie Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher said Fall City learned about the contest last year and "waited a whole year to challenge the other two cities. I think it is a great idea and look forward to the challenge."

North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing said he sees the addition of Fall City as a way to get the Valley cities to unite.

"We need to bring the Valley cities together." he said. The Valley as a whole could become a destination, he said, instead of individual cities competing with each other.

Applications for the contest are available now and are due Nov. 28 at noon. On Nov. 30, a list of addresses will be printed in the Valley Record, along with a voting ballot. Ballots are due by Dec. 12 at noon. On Dec. 15, seniors from the Mount Si Senior Center will pick the winner from finalists in each city and a picture of the winning display will run in the newspaper on Dec. 23. The contest is open to single-family dwellings, single-business locations and multiple homes from one neighborhood with the same theme.

Fletcher said the festival last year got people out looking at lights and involved with residents from the other cities.

"I'm looking forward to more folks this year," he said.

Hearing said there were more than 20 participants last year and good voter turnout, both of which he hopes will improve this year.

Allen thinks it will help her city get involved with the rest of the Valley as well.

"I really felt that it would be some good old-fashioned fun and that if Snoqualmie and North Bend were doing it, I felt Fall City could give them a run for their money," Allen said. "We are all a part of the Valley together."

Fletcher said last year's contest helped to strengthen the relationship between North Bend and Snoqualmie.

"We have talked more about all the issues facing us since the contest was put on last year."

Hearing said the contest sparked ideas for other ways to work together, including a joint fireworks show.

About the contest, Hearing said, "Whichever city takes home the trophy, all it does is get recognition from the other cities and create a situation where they try harder next year."

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