The Christmas Lights Spectacular is run by Professionals McDowell Real Estate, which started in 1911 when Thomas McDowell and his son moved to Rotorua and opened a general store and McDowell and Co ltd, Land Agents, on the corner of Tutuanekai and Eruera Streets,
The first competition, which was held in 1998, attracted 22 entries in the houses section, 12 businesses, and four streets. The Riley family won first prize in the houses sections with a display featuring about 700 bulbs. Not Just Books won the business section, and Larch Street won the streets section.
Last year there were 23 registered houses. Pat Ashton (known as Nana Pat) won for the second year in a row.
She offered Christmas cake and shortbread to visitors last year. She estimated that she made at least 12 Christmas cakes and more than 90 batches of a dozen shortbread biscuits. The then 78-year-old told the Rotorua Daily Post that she tries to hang most of the decorations herself.
|Pat Ashton's Christmas Lights display 2017. Credit: Rotorua Daily Post|
|Pat Aston with 2018 Christmas Display. Credit Rotorua Daily Post|
This year voting was open to public from the 4th to 14th of December via the number of likes on the Facebook or Instagram photo.
32 Stafford Rise received first place winning $1,0000, 2nd place winner 51 A Holland Street received $700, and 77 Homedale Street won $300 for third place.
|1st Place - 32 Stafford Rise. Photo credit: Professionals McDowell Real Estate|
|2nd Place - 51A Holland Street. Photo credit: Professionals McDowell Real Estate|
|3rd Place - 77 Homedale Street. Photo credit: Professionals McDowell Real Estate|
This post was written by Graeme. With thanks to information from Rotorua Daily Post and McDowell Professionals Real Estate.