SPARTA, NJ  - A neighborhood in Sparta took holiday spirit seriously with a friendly house decorating competition.  Eleven families in the area of Whippoorwill Lane and Cardinal Drive tried to outdo each other with Christmas cheer.

“It was nice to see everyone so into it,” participant Mike Rennie said.

Spearheaded by Naimh Grano, the celebrity judges were Mayor Molly Whilesmith, Police Chief Neil Spidaletto, Lake Mohawk Country Club General Manager John Stanley and “the three wise ladies” aka Deb Graybill and two friends. 

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The judges score sheets were placed in sealed envelopes and given to Jenn Carlson of the Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta to tally the results. 

  • First place went to the Ciaburri family,
  • Second place went to the Grano family,
  • Third place went to the Maldonado family and
  • Fourth place went to the Rennie family.

“It was a lot of fun,” one participant said. “Thanks to Niamh for organizing.”

Each of the homes in the competition was decorated in their own unique way.  One home had a live Santa and elves, another a life sized snow globe, a shooting star and packages at another, lighted candy canes and Santa’s Workshop, all types of light displays and the movie the Polar Express was projected on a garage, complete with a couch and popcorn for viewing.

The home made trophy featured lights and will be etched with the winners each year, according to Grano.