Cookeville – Tis the season for the sixth annual Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge presented by Cookeville Leisure Services and the Upper Cumberland Association of Realtors.

“Each year the creativity, time and patience devoted into each entry plus the passion just explodes from years past,” said Carol Glover, Upper Cumberland Association of Realtors. “Each new season I ride around and view all the houses.  I just smile and am amazed because you never think it can get better, but it does. What a wonderful experience it is where you can take your family to see these houses for a night or two.” 

The deadline to register is Monday, Nov. 21, by 4 p.m. Register online at .

Residents entering in the Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge exterior decorating contest must be in a 15-mile radius of the Cookeville Courthouse Square to qualify.

“We decided to increase the mile radius this year to allow more participants to enter the contest,” said Sally Herren, Leisure Services recreation programmer.

For a $10 participation fee, you can enter the contest and show off your holiday light display. Winners will receive $50 cash prize along with a yard sign with the name of their award.

“This year we are looking to change up the contest by giving different awards similar to superlatives,” Herren added.

There will also be a social media People’s Choice award of $50. Photos of all Merry & Bright entries (taken by judges) will be posted on the Cookeville Leisure Services Department Facebook page on Dec. 5. The photo with the most likes by Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. wins.

By entering the Merry & Bright Holiday Home Challenge, participants understand and agree that their address will be included in a publicized Christmas Tour of Lights and that a photo of their home will be shared on social media.  

After the deadline, a map will be created and available at Hard copies, along with a Christmas Light scavenger hunt that can be completed along with the tour, can be picked up at the Leisure Services office at 10 E. Broad St.

Judging for the homeowners who entered the Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge will take place Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, and winners will be announced on Dec. 5.

“There is nothing better in my world than everyone who is part of this challenge, their warmth and the joy it brings to all! UCAR looks forward to many more years to partner with Cookeville Leisure Services and keep up this an annual tradition,” Glover said.

For more information, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 520-4386.

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