Deck the house: Mantua’s home decor contest

16 houses have entered the contest as of Nov. 29.

Mantua will host the first Christmas home decorating contest in its history this month.

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Deck the House winners will be selected by judges during the week of Monday, Dec. 18.

“Bob (Mayor Robert Zimmerman) had the idea after getting some inspiration from other townships,” said Joshua Cummings, a member of the township’s digital media team. “He thought it would be a good idea to do something to get the community together, something to celebrate the holidays, something fun, something new.

“I think the big thing with the challenge as a whole and the idea with it was to just get the community involved and engaged,” said Ben James, another team member. “I think it’s going to something nice to bring everyone together and have some holiday fun and everything like that.”

Registration for the contest began last month and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Mantua website. The contest is a collaboration between Zimmerman, the digital media team and the township recreation committee.

Houses will be judged on categories that include overall creativity, theme, lights and special effects. Decorations must be done by participants or those close to them, not professional decorators. Judges have yet to be determined, according to Zimmerman, but will likely be township officials.

“I had an idea, but I can’t put things into place and bring it to fruition,” Zimmerman noted. “I brought it to this (digital media) team a couple weeks ago and the rec committee. They have brought this to life, so without their efforts, there’s no way we would have been physically able this year to put it together on such short notice.”

According to Cummings, about 16 homes are registered for the contest as of Nov. 29, more than expected. Winners will be notified by email and receive a township proclamation, along with a small prize.

“It’s not like a competition where people are gonna get at each other,” James explained. “It’s just going to be very lighthearted … and bring people together. It’s not meant to be cut-throat.”

“This year is the first year, so we’re really kind of in the infancy stages of putting this together …” said the mayor. “We’re just gonna have an overall competition and winners.”

Deck the House could become an annual event in Mantua, according to Zimmerman.

“A lot will be dependent on how successful this is and how many people participate,” he noted. “We’re probably at a good number now; we certainly encourage people to register, but we want to make sure we can handle the judging and do everything the first year.

“If everything is successful, we’ll build off of it and promote it more for the future.”

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