Check out displays at these Seacoast homes, maybe enter a contest

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Seacoast as neighborhoods and businesses display their holiday lights and decorations every evening. Holiday decorating contests from Portsmouth to Rye to Dover to South Berwick are inspiring homeowners to new heights intent on bringing home the bragging rights to the title of Best Decorated Home in numerous contests.

The Portsmouth Citywide Neighborhood Committee is holding a Holiday Lights Contest 2021 and the deadline to enter is this Friday, Dec.10. Portsmouth residents are invited to register to participate by completing the form on the Holiday Lights Contest 2021 webpage or a printable pdf of the entry form which can be done at Print the form, scan it and email it to [email protected] or mail c/o City Manager’s Office, City Hall, One Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801.

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A Portsmouth home celebrates the holiday spirit with a large, illuminated Ice Age display on Dec. 6, 2021.

A Portsmouth home celebrates the holiday spirit with a large, illuminated Ice Age display on Dec. 6, 2021.

Portsmouth Holiday Lights Contest has three categories

The contest has three categories this year and the judges will select which one is most appropriate for each entry they view: Traditional Light Display; Creative Light Display; and Kids’ Choice. Contest entries will be judged by school-aged children, who will be driven through their assigned neighborhoods (not their own) to make their choices of the best holiday lights displays. Judging will take place between Dec. 11 and 19. The committee will create a map of the Holiday Lights Contest entries so that residents can tour the lighted locations route by car.

The top three winners will receive a $500 gift certificate from Lowe’s, Home Depot or Ricci Lumber, and honorable mention winners will receive $25 gift cards.

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Rye’s Small Town, Bright Lights Contest

In Rye, the second annual Small Town, Bright Lights Contest is happening now. You can register in three categories and there is a $200 cash prize from Partners Bank for the winner in each category. There will be a people’s choice award this year and the winner will receive a Summer Session gift card. Contest organizers will be providing an app this year that navigates residents to each home in the contest.

Contest entry fee is $10, and proceeds will be donated to Gift of Warmth for NH Fuel Assistance. Contest is for Rye residents only. Entrants must select a category (see below) to enter. Only decorations visible from the roadway will be considered a part of the display. Entrants must have display on for the duration of the judging period. By registering, entrants agree to their address being published publicly.

The categories are: Norman Rockwell, a traditional display of holiday lights that makes you reminiscent of holidays past; Grandma Got Run Over, lights, music, animation, candy canes, you name it! Take a play out of Clark Griswold’s or Buddy the Elf’s handbook; Misfit Toys, best use of inflatables and holiday characters.

To register visit: Email questions to [email protected]

Lights wrapped around a huge tree catch the attention of traffic as a star rests on top for the holiday season on Route 4 in Durham Dec. 6, 2021.

Lights wrapped around a huge tree catch the attention of traffic as a star rests on top for the holiday season on Route 4 in Durham Dec. 6, 2021.

Rotary Club of Dover Holiday Decorations Contest

Dover Rotarian elves will be visiting decorated homes in Dover on Dec. 13 and 14, looking for winners in its second annual Rotary Club of Dover Holiday Decorations Contest. Deadline to enter was Monday, Dec. 6 for the free contest which celebrates community spirit and offers first, second and third place prizes. Winners will be announced Monday, Dec. 15.

Lights Shine Bright Holiday Tour

The second annual Lights Shine Bright Holiday Tour encompasses South Berwick, Dover, Rollinsford and Berwick and benefits local food pantries. Families pay $20 to register and get a family photo taken at at Lickee’s & Chewy’s in Dover this Friday, Dec. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m.; a voting sheet, a map of all participating homes; two 12 oz Hot Chocolates from Aroma Joe’s on Broadway in Dover Dec. 9, 10, 11, or 12 and a chance to win a gas gift card. Proceeds from the registration fees go to local food pantries. Get tickets online at

This article originally appeared on Fosters Daily Democrat: Holiday lights displays at Seacoast NH, southern Maine homes

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