Campaign underway to make CK shine for the holidays

Christmas lights displayed on a house. Google image labeled for reuse.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is asking people to help light up the Christmas season this year.

People are being asked to decorate their homes with holiday lights and post photos and list neighbourhoods on the Let’s Talk Chatham-Kent web page to allow the public to view the photos online or to drive or walk through the listed neighbourhoods. The map is mobile phone friendly so residents can take it with them when touring. The municipality said more than 130 local homes and businesses have already signed up to share the beauty of their outdoor holiday decorations through the “Light Up Chatham-Kent” program, a community-wide online effort to celebrate the season. Mayor Darrin Canniff said the campaign already has homes from Blenheim, Dresden, Wallaceburg, Ridgetown, Erieau, Chatham and rural areas and more are coming online each day.

“This just shows the amazing spirit of C-K,” said Mayor Canniff. “It’s a grass-roots idea from residents and we’re just really happy to be able to help.”

Participating homes are asked to turn on their lights each night from roughly 5:30 to 10 p.m. Homeowners who register their home online will be eligible to win prizes donated through the Blenheim Business Improvement Association and Ridge Landfill Community Trust, the key sponsor for the Festival of Light and the Light Up Our Neighborhood celebration. A random draw for prizes (one entry per registered home) will be made Monday, December 14.

The new campaign grew from Blenheim’s Light Up Our Neighbourhood Committee, the 2020 Christmas Lights Tour in Wallaceburg and Dresden Shines because they wanted a wider platform to share their efforts. Scott Tate, who organized the night portion of the Blenheim Festival of Lights that was sidelined by COVID-19 this year, said the “Light Up” idea demonstrates community resiliency.

“There’s always reason to celebrate,” Tate said. “Whether residents celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice or the Season of Giving, let’s celebrate together.”

Those viewing the displays are asked to respect private property and use COVID-19 health and safety protocols.