Mitre 10 MEGA’s Murray Leaning, centre, with Light Up Nelson Competition winners Eric and Pauline King-Turner, and Bev, Stan and Jaiden Hollis. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Lighting up Christmas

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With hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights and an uncountable amount of decorations, locals lit up the region over the festive season.

A total of twelve homes competed in Light Up Nelson, the annual Christmas lights competition, but it was the King-Turner and Hollis families who came out on top.

Out on Titoki Place in Motueka, Eric and Pauline King-Turner’s home was turned into a festive fantasy, winning ‘best house’ and a $250 Mitre 10 MEGA voucher.

Their house boasted a collection of over 60,000 lights which have been collected over the last 14 years, as well as giant inflatables, Santa, and performances from the Salvation Army Band.

“We had people coming around from 6pm and right through till 2am the next morning, there were vans coming from all over to see the house.”

However, this year is the couple’s last, says Pauline. “I’m going to miss all the interactions with everyone and seeing the same people come back year after year.”

Each year the Motueka duo put out a donations box to raise money for a local charity and this year they were able to give $2000 to the Motueka St John Ambulance after being given over $500 on Christmas Eve.

Pauline says she was delighted by the generosity of the crowds.

“It’s an important community service and what a way to finish!”

Taking out the people’s choice award and the $250 MEGA voucher was Bev and Stan Hollis on Rochdale Drive, Richmond, who have also been decorating their house for the last 14 years.

“The reaction as people come in is priceless,” says Stan. “You get the kids dancing in front of the singing Santa and looking around in wonder.”

“We even had a guy who had just arrived from Germany come to us and say, ‘I’ve seen this already’. It turns out he’d seen a video of last year’s houses from across the other side of the world.”

A $100 MEGA voucher will also be awarded to voter Anne Cox who was randomly chosen from over 500 voters on the Nelson App.

For the first time ever, this year’s Light Up Nelson was brought to you by Mitre 10 MEGA and the Nelson App.

“I couldn’t believe we had the opportunity to do it,” says Mitre 10 MEGA’s Murray Leaning.

“Its one of those things where you get thousands of people getting into the Christmas spirit and so many people doing fantastic light displays at their homes, we loved it and are keen to stay on board for next Christmas.”