Wayne and Anne Usmar of Coopers Road, Willowbank.
Wayne and Anne Usmar of Coopers Road, Willowbank.

City sparkles with Christmas cheer

DESPITE bad weather and illness Peter and Gail Gilmore have soldiered on to take out top prize in the city’s annual Christmas lights competition.

The Blackstone couple took out the prize for city-wide winner in The Queensland Times City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition 2010 in partnership with Ipswich City Council.

Mrs Gilmore said the couple had been entering the competition for the past six years.

She said while they typically started decorating their home in mid-October, ill health had meant her preparations were delayed for three weeks.

They also had unseasonably bad wet weather to contend with.

“We had a bit of storm damage which ripped a few lights down,” Mrs Gilmore said.

But in the end she said her Christmas vision had come together, complete with more than 20,000 twinkling lights and some dancing Santas.

Mrs Gilmore said she hadn’t been expecting the win at all.

“I thought we might get runner-up in the residential section,” she said.

“I was quite shocked and surprised when we won.

“You do the lights so other people look at them.

“Everyone likes something different; the kids liked the dancing Santas and their parents appreciated the work that goes into something like putting the lights up.”

Queensland Times newspaper sales and marketing manager Amy Williams said interest in the competition this year had been “fantastic”, with 75 entrants received from Springfield down to Marburg.

“It was great to see such a good response, particularly in light of the weather we have had this year,” she said.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said Ipswich embraced the festive spirit, and the annual Christmas lights competition was a chance to truly shine.

“Christmas lights are a special part of the festive season for many people and attract local residents and visitors to the city,” Cr Pisasale said.

“We have tremendous spirit in Ipswich, and this is reflected by people dressing up their homes in the joy of Christmas.”



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