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Ocean City Decorating Contest to Showcase Festive Spirit

Ocean City Decorating Contest to Showcase Festive Spirit

By mvitale, OCNJDAILY

There’s one sure way to get into the spirit of the holiday – decorate the exterior of your home. Just dive in, untangle those lights and display your style, and shine a bright light on your residence, while enjoying some friendly competition.

Yes, registration is now open for Ocean City’s annual Holiday House Decorating Contest. The deadline to sign up is at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Judging will take place Thursday, Dec. 14, and Friday, Dec. 15, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Pictures of all entries will be posted on social media on Friday, Dec. 15, so the public can vote for the People’s Choice Award. Voting will end on Sunday, Dec. 17.

The contest is always a popular attraction, explained Dan Kelchner, the director of the city’s Community Services Department.

“Our residents do such a great job with all of their festive decorations throughout town this time of year. The contest provides an outlet for members of the community to share their displays,” Kelchner said.

And depending on how well those lights twinkle for the judges or how much the decorations dazzle, you may be in for some gifts.

First Place winners will be announced in each category. Each first-place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the downtown shopping district.

An Ocean City home sparkles with holiday decorations.

An overall best-decorated house entry will be named. This grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for the downtown and a prize package from Ocean City and the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, according to a city news release.

Homeowners have plenty of categories to choose from when deciding how to decorate their homes, too.

The categories are as follows: Best Commercial (Commercial Display), Most Colorful (colorful lights, decorations, etc.), Most Classic (Think of a scene from a postcard”), Most Festive (This is for the people that really love Christmas) and the Clark Griswold Award (Think it can be seen from space due to the amount of lights? Then this is your category).

Kelchner said not only is this an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the homes of residents who have holiday spirit, but it is also a way for others in the community, as well as visitors, to enjoy the homeowners’ hard work in putting together their unique holiday scenes.

“For others, it provides a roadmap to check out some of the best holiday displays in town. The contest provides another family-centric activity for folks to enjoy in this great town around the holidays,” Kelchner said. “Families can put the kids in the car with some hot chocolate, drive around, and check out all the lights. I’ll certainly be doing that with my kids.”

All participating houses will be listed at so that residents and visitors can tour the resort to view the entries.

Registration information, online voting and a list of all participating houses will be posted at

The Capoferri home at 913 Seacrest Road takes the prize as “Best Overall Winner in 2021.”