Prince Rupert residents show off Christmas displays in competition

Joshua Azizi

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't taking the holiday season off, but that doesn't mean Prince Rupert isn't getting into the Christmas spirit anyway.

This month, the Prince Rupert Special Events Society and the Prince Rupert District Arts Council held a competition called "Light up the Town" to see which homes and businesses have the best Christmas displays. Contestants would submit pictures or videos of their displays, and then people would vote for their favourites by reacting or commenting on them through Facebook.

Prince Rupert Special Events Society Board Member Ashley Daigle said that since the organization wasn't able to hold their annual Winterfest celebration due to the pandemic, they decided to develop another way for the community to celebrate the holidays.

"We were looking to bring some Christmas cheer to people, and it's one of those ideas where it was outside, which is within the guidelines, and it wouldn't necessarily have people gathering all together."

The winning home belongs to Terena and Jonathan Stegavig. Their ambitious display features a tunnel of Christmas lights, a 35-foot light-up Christmas tree and a giant sign that reads "Happy Holidays" on top of their roof.

Terena Stegavig said that her husband Jonathan built many of the Light displays himself around ten to twelve years ago and that they put it up for the kids in the neighbourhood. However, she added that it's difficult to set up and maintain them due to Prince Rupert's weather.

"He's constantly tweaking because a line of lights will go out because this weather is not the best. Once he gets going, he really goes, but a lot of it is like, the tree or the sign, especially if there's frost on the roof he can't get on the roof. So we try to do it in early November when it's not too bad, we just don't light it up, eh?"

The winner of the business entries category was Good Times Games, a board games store. The standout feature in their display is a Christmas tree that has Magic the Gathering cards as ornaments and the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings at the top of the tree.

Good Times Games owner Rob Gruber said that the store always wants to be involved with what's happening in the city.

"Good times is all about community. So we're involved in Seafest, we're involved in children's fest, Halloween fest. Anything that's going on that spotlights Prince Rupert, and we try to go all out."

The top three contestants in the home and business categories each got a sign that recognized their ranking.

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