Dec. 4, 2003 – Parisians may live in "The City of Lights" all year 'round, but since 2001, as the seasonal holidays approach, the Virgin Islands has laid claim to the description as the theme of a decorating contest.
The 3rd annual competition, sponsored by the Tourism Department and the Port Authority, is on, and here's what you need to know if you're interested in taking part.
Residential and business-place decorations are equally encouraged, on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island. Creativity counts in this competition, with "lights and other seasonal displays to show the spirit of the holiday season."
You can pick your own holiday(s) or holy day(s) as inspiration, too: Publicity notes that Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and the Crucian Festival finale of Three Kings Day all are observed at this time of the year as part of the cultural heritage of residents of the territory.
From the start, judging has been on the basis of four criteria: design concept, attractiveness, creativity and use of renewable energy technology.
Those wanting to compete in the 2003 City of Lights judging need to obtain a registration form from any of the Tourism offices on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, fill it out and turn it back in by Dec. 19. "Selection of winners and awarding of prizes will be made shortly thereafter," a Tourism release distributed on Thursday stated.
One of the organizers of the first competition was Clorise M. Smith of the St. Thomas Tourism office, and she had help from Lisa A. James on St. Croix and Lucinda Jurgen on St. John. This year, they're all still in the thick of things.
The 2001 competition was conceived as a way to help lift people's spirits in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 tragedies, "to boost the morale of the community," Smith said at the time. She said that the judges would be checking out the entries as information was received, rather than waiting until the deadline to make all of the site visits at once.
To find out more about the 2003 contest or to request a registration form by fax, call Smith at 774-8784, ext. 2254; James at 773-0495; or Jurgen at 776-6450.
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