Gaze in Wonder at the Clearwater Parade of Lights

register your home’s holiday light display by Nov. 29

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

This one may be visible from space.
This one may be visible from space.

Light up this year’s holiday festivities with the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry’s Clearwater Parade of Lights. This first-ever lights and decoration contest – hosted in collaboration with Market & Johnson and the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association – runs from Dec. 2-4, with winners announced on Dec. 7.

Judging is based on outdoor lighting, décor, and “curb appeal,” as viewed from the street. Backyards and side yards don’t count, so make this a “Hallelujah” moment like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and set up all your lights out front. (Just don’t plug ’em all in one outlet!)

Winning categories include Best Use of Lights, Most Entertaining, Most Creative Theme, and Judge’s Choice. Winners will then be posted on Facebook at from Dec. 7-13 for the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced on Monday, Dec. 14. Prizes include a lawn sign for category winners and social media recognition – and the knowledge that you’re spreading joy to your community!

Entry for the contest is $7 for residential and $15 for commercial properties. Proceeds benefit Youth Recreation Scholarships. The deadline to register is Sunday, Nov. 29. You can register online at