Steamboat Springs The 2001 Tour of Lights sponsored by the Steamboat Pilot & Today and Yampa Valley Electric Association is designed to help get the community into the holiday spirit, organizers said.
People who have decorated the exterior of their homes are invited to enter the contest for themselves or their friends.
"It's a community event and it is fun and beautiful," said Brooke Lachman, classified/circulation manager at the Pilot & Today.
Last year's first-place winners were Jim and Jo Stanko. Their ranch on Twentymile Road had everything intricately decorated with lights, including the tractor.
"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," said Lachman.
The contest gives consideration to a variety of beautifully decorated homes for the community to enjoy.
Jo Stanko said that a lot of her neighbors look forward to the decorating of their ranch for the Christmas season.
"Steamboat in its earlier years used to be phenomenally decorated before the energy crisis," she said, "and it is coming back."
Stanko said she thinks in light of recent events more people will participate in this year's contest to show how Christmas is a big part of their lives.
She said the Stankos decorate their ranch in a western theme to represent something a rancher would do.
This year, she said, Santa may be branding a reindeer.
Members of the community and staff members of the Steamboat Pilot & Today will judge the homes entered in the contest.
The judging teams each visit a different group of homes.
Judging for the contest is weighted on the quantity of lights, uniqueness of design, tastefulness of design and color and the use of color.
The first place prize is $175, second place is $100, third place is $75 and honorable mention is $50. All winners will also receive a subscription to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Nominations should include a person's name, address and directions to the home and should be submitted to the Steamboat Pilot, PO Box 774827, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.
Registration for the contest is free and is available until 5 p.m. Dec. 7.
The houses will be judged
Dec. 10 to 14 and winners will be listed in the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Dec. 16.