By MORGAN MANNS
Santa statues. Glowing reindeer. Nativity scenes. Christmas trees. Light up snowmen.
These are just a few of the various holiday decorations that brighten up neighborhoods throughout Fostoria, spreading holiday cheer.
Ten of these homes are participating in the city’s holiday decorating contest “Light Up Fostoria for the Holidays,” sponsored by the Fostoria Community Arts Council.
Three community judges toured through the town Tuesday evening, soaking in the sights of all the festive lights and décor. They judged the decorations on the overall look, lights and creativity.
Henry and Angela Matthews, 517 Eisenhower Drive, were the recipients of first place and received $100 while Mr. and Mrs. John Ferguson, 799 S. Wood St., earned second place and $25.
“I thought everyone did a great job of decorating their homes,” Browning Payne, arts council president, said. “I’m happy there were a variety of houses (participating) all throughout the town.”
Community members will have the opportunity to take the tour and see the winning houses as well as vote for a People’s Choice winner come this weekend.
The $2 tours will begin at the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society Depot on North Street and will take place from 5-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Other houses on the tour and up for People’s Choice Award include Mike Hopple, 433 N. Main St.; Mike Lucius, 607 Alma Drive; Roger Bell, 537 W. Center St.; Bill and Carol Kinn, 211 Vickie Lane; Jean Endicott, 461 W. Lytle St. #78; Lorri and Luck Cochran, 513 Maple St.; Bill and Gail Volkmer, 1702 Walnut St.; and Bill Smith Jr., 1016 N. Vine St.
The winner will also receive $25.
Previously sponsored by the Fostoria Area Visitor’s Bureau and originally started by Fostoria resident Leah Hipsher, the event began about five years ago but took a sabbatical last year.
Browning said the Fostoria Community Arts Council decided to take over the event because it promotes creativity in the community.
“I think anything we can do in the community to bring us together and show that there are activities, even if it is just riding around looking at lights, is a positive thing,” he said. “I hope that in years to come more people participate because there are some other houses in the community that are nicely decorated.”
Other houses will be included in this weekend’s tour, but will not be judged, according to Browning.
“There are some other houses in the community that are nicely decorated,” he said. “Maybe they’ll participate next year. It would be nice to have the whole community decorated and festive for the holiday. It would be fun.”