CHRISTMAS came a week early for one Emerald resident last week, after her home was named Best Residential House in the council's annual Light Up Our Town competition.
Beryl Callaghan couldn't wipe the smile off her face after taking out the top prize.
"It was a very big shock to me, I didn't expect it, but it was a wonderful surprise," she said with a laugh. "I just do it because it brings joy to other people and I love Christmas and everything about it."
Beryl has lived on Kidd Street for 15 years and has been adding Christmas cheer to her home for about 13 years.
Well deserving of the $500 cash prize and $200 travel voucher, Beryl set up the whole display by herself.
Featuring an abundance of colourful lights, a blow-up Santa and plenty of Christmas spirit, Beryl is planning to stock up on lights after Christmas with her prizemoney.
Mayor Peter Maguire said he was impressed with the "high standard" of displays this year.
"The judges were happy, although we were down on numbers this year," he said. "I think some people were sitting back because they were worried about the weather."
Winners included: Best Neighbourhood - Kidd Street; Best Nativity Scene - Margaret Layton; Best Australiana - David and Shelley McMaster; Best Business - McKenzies Tilt Trays; Best Christmas Lights - Cayla and Madilyn Jurd; Best Residential Novice - Luke and Christie Dornbusch; Best Residential - Beryl Callaghan
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