Lewes residents will come together to add a little light to an otherwise dark year with a new holiday tradition – Lewes Lights.
The community-wide competition is designed to be safe for all ages, with Lewes residents decorating their homes for spectators to view from their cars.
The event is the brainchild of Christian Mullins, a part-time Lewes resident who really enjoys the holiday season. He ramped up his efforts to organize the event after Lewes’ annual Christmas parade and Merchants’ Hospitality Night were canceled, and the Lewes Historical Society’s holiday house tour was made virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m passionate about holiday lights,” he said. “Growing up in Philly, I would put lights up every Christmas. I’d cover every tree and shrub on our two-acre property. I always enjoyed when people slowed down as they passed by.”
Lewes residents who want to participate in the free competition may sign up for one of six categories, each with a unique theme. The Kids’ Choice Frozen, Frosty & Fun Award will be given to the top kids-themed home. The Colonial Christmas Candles & Greens Award is reserved for the best-decorated pre-1850s home. The Traditional It’s A Wonderful Life Award will go to the top home with warm, cozy, clear lights on a traditional- or cottage-style home. The Doors of Lewes Making an Entrance Award will be given to the top door decoration/display. The Vintage Holiday Leg Lamp Award celebrates the home with the best vintage holiday decorations. Finally, the Clark Griswold of Lewes Award celebrates the most over-the-top display. Participants must sign up for a specific category; however, they may opt out of awards consideration. Homeowner registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 27.
Organizers also plan to honor the most decorative street in Lewes with the Jingle Bell Lane Award.
An opening ceremony will be held Friday, Dec. 4, on Sussex Drive near Shields Elementary School, where Santa will kick off the tour with an informal car parade. A time has yet to be determined.
The winners of each category will be determined by spectators. Mullins, who is working with Lewes resident Debra Evalds to organize the event, will release a map of participating homes on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The map will include all homes located within the 19958 ZIP code, but only homes within city limits are eligible for awards. Businesses are also encouraged to participate, but they will not be eligible for awards.
Those who sign up as spectators on the event’s website will receive the map by email. There is no cost to receive a map. Folks may submit votes through Wednesday, Dec. 23, by dropping off ballots at specified businesses in downtown Lewes.
After votes are tallied, the winners will be announced on New Year’s Day.
This article has been updated with new information.