Central Highlands Light Up The Town winners announced
THE Ledwy family has been in Emerald for about 20 years, but this year is the first time they decided to light up the town - and took home first place.
Neil and Kim Ledwy, along with kids Kloe, 9, and Ava, 4, have been working since mid-November to get their house lit up, and Kim said it was a bit of an addiction.
"The kids just love it," she said.
"We put up lights last year, but not this many.
"It just sort of grows."
But she said the work didn't stop once the lights were up - with the family packing up a lot of the props each night and putting them back out the next day.
"We had some damage through the storms and we bring some of the stuff in and out," Kim said.
The Ledwys have the entire brickwork of the front of their house covered in lights, all laboriously taped in rows.
"We have some issues with the heat, with the tape falling off," Kim said. "But it's worth it, definitely."
The family didn't plan to enter the lights competition until they saw an SMS to the editor published in the CQ News.
The Ledwys and the other winners from around the Central Highlands will take away a $250 Eftpos gift card for their prize.
This year also saw the first Beryl Callaghan Spirit of Christmas Award presented in honour of Emerald's late Queen of Christmas.
In a fitting gesture, the first award was presented to Beryl's daughter, Carol Cross and her husband Barry.
"The outside was great but it was the inside of the house that really dazzled," one of the judges said.
"If welcoming the whole community into your living room isn't in 'the spirit of Christmas' we don't know what is!"
Springsure/Rolleston: Pam Dallas, 27 Warrijo Street
Blackwater and surrounds: John and Robyn Draper, 23 Edward Street, Duaringa
Capella/Tieri: John and Lydia Blee, 9 Eddy Drive, Capella
Emerald/Gemfields/ Comet: Anakie Police compound
Springsure/Rolleston: Rolleston police station
Blackwater and surrounds: Duaringa Tourist Information Centre
Capella/Tieri: CMF Forklifts: Sales, Hire and Service