2017 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
The Griswald Award — 1116 Crowley. Pearline Cleveland got a late start this year but the entire extended family pitched in to make this high wattage yard one that would make Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation) proud.
The Bob Findlay Award — 1411 Porto Bello. The van de Kamps both had lots of medical issues this year but that didn’t stop them from doing their best job yet in over 30 years decorating three different homes on the Lake.
The Vernon Porter Award — 1101 San Juan. The Wightman’s beautiful front yard has won several times over the years but this year is in honor of our long time HOA President Vernon Porter for the best waterside lighting. You can see best it from the Loch Lomond gate.
Best Theme I — 809 Loch Lomond. The Agura’s Christmas Tree Farm looks like a scene straight from a wonderful Hallmark Christmas movie.
Best Theme II — 1027 Loch Lomond. The Norvells are like the HGTV Fixer Uppers of Interlochen and their new reindeer herd on the Crowley corner hill looks fantastic.
Most Artistic I — 3201 San Paulo. The Cubbage home is a gorgeous waterfall of white lights every year that always impresses with a big moose on the loose.
Most Artistic II — 711 Findlay. The Gaines’ went with a whole new look this year and it worked beautifully with unique hand made multi-colored spiral trees.
The Santa Award –1417 Porto Bello. Bernie Caldwell climbed up on his roof with his two new knees and somehow got Santa and Rudolph high in the sky.
Santa’s Choice — 3116 Westwood. The Smith/Kortkamp family didn’t quite go full Griswald but they came awfully close with their many great inflatables.
People’s Choice— 1409 Crowley–The Bicks did an amazing job renovating their beautiful walled home and garden. Their chimney Angel welcomes and wows every visitor at the Interlochen entrance gate.
2016 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
The Porter Award –This first time award named in honor of our first HOA President Vernon Porter goes to the Flanigan Family at 1421 Porto Bello for their backyard lakeside decor which is almost as much fun as the front of their beautiful home.
The Findlay Award –Named in honor of Bob Findlay, the late developer of Interlochen whose wife Carole still lights up their home, this prize for lifetime achievement is well deserved by the Farris Family at 1118 Crowley who are still going strong as they begin their 5th decade of decorating.
Most Artistic I –Mike Saliba and Ken Simoneaux of 1415 Porto Bello not only decorated their own lawn beautifully with coordinated music and lights but this year helped several neighbors and also organized the Boat Parade of Christmas Lights.
Most Artistic II –The Davis Family has a fantastic collection of blow ups that includes two unique Nutcrackers that frame their front entrance at 1300 Crowley.
Best Theme I –The Lancaster Family at 701 Loch Lomond won a close vote this year for their “Star” theme with two nearby neighbors who are sure to win in coming years.
Best Theme II — New residents Miranda Coffey and Mindy Brantley haven’t even completely moved into 1429 Porto Bello but they have maintained the Porter’s famous “Merry Christmas” sign and added a fun “Star Wars” theme. An incredible first time effort.
Santa’s Choice –The Garcia Family has done a great job for many years and finally won a well deserved award for their beautiful blue lights at 1110 San Juan.
The Santa Award–The Simek Family at 1004 Loch Lomond stepped it up a notch this year to impress their grand kids (and the judges) with dancing lights around their two-story home.
The People’s Choice — The Woolsey family of 1205 Findlay did a wonderful job, especially with their miniature wooden church.
The Griswald Award — In the spirit of the classic movie Christmas Vacation, the Renfro Family went all out and over the top at 1023 Loch Lomond lighting almost every square inch of their lawn from the street to their house.
2015 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
The Griswald Award — The Lester Family, 1100 Montreau….No one can remember a “rookie” family ever winning this most coveted of all prizes but Kay and Tony Lester did an unbelievable job for their first Interlochen Christmas. Chevy Chase (Clark Griswald) would be proud.
The People’s Choice — The Janeway Family, 702 Loch Lomond….Speaking of Christmas Vacation, this PG 13 display is a hoot with Cousin Eddie in his bikini briefs. It got the most nominations so it is truly the People’s Choice.
Best Theme (Inspirational) — The Dawson Family, 709 Findlay….A beautiful and classy combination of Angels and Bible verses that just barely missed winning last year.
Best Theme (Whimsical ) — The Began Family, 904 Loch Lomond….Star Wars on the Bayou. As Yoda would say: “Very crazy, these people are.” A great display!
The Santa Award — The Young Family, 1416 Porto Bello….You may not be able to see the humongous Abominable Snowman on their roof from outer space but you sure can see it from the NBC 5 helicopter. Wow!
Most Artistic (Inspirational) — The Lowthorp Family, 1106 Crowley….A unique blue six pointed star alternates with a white cross. A beautiful message for the season.
Most Artistic (Whimsical) — The Boelter Family, 1425 Porto Bello….Another home that has just missed winning in the past due to the tough but friendly competition finally gets a well deserved award.
Santa’s Choice — The Clark Family, 1009 Loch Lomond…..We didn’t even know Santa had a gigantic twitter hashtag until we saw it on this lawn….#HOHOHO.
The Findlay Award — The Reed Family,1101 Crowley….Most of us slow down on the Lights as we get older but these guys only get better with age. This award is for decorating excellence for many years.
And here are the 12 families who won special recognition for 40 years of Christmas decorating.
On Crowley: Everett 1019, Holliday 1112, Farris 1118, Seipel 1120, Vernor 1200, Inman 1201, Brown 1404.
On Porto Bello: Findlay 1408, Clark 1412, Watkins 1413, Haskell 1427, Porter 1429.
2014 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
Judges faced a difficult task in selecting recipients for the decorating awards as there were so many homes deserving special recognition. Winners from the last two years were not eligible. Here are the 2014 winners:
People’s Choice Award: 1122 Crowley Road. This year the home with the most nominations belonged to the Duperre family with their Blitzen’s Bar and wonderful, lifelike window projections.
Most Artistic Award: 1101 San Juan Court and 3201 San Paulo Court. Fortunately we have two Artistic awards because it was impossible to choose between these two beautifully lit homes. Congratulations to the Wightman family on San Juan and the Cubbage family on San Paulo for all their hard work and for jobs well done.
Best Theme Award: 1407 Porto Bello Court & 711 Findlay Drive. Luckily, we also have two Theme awards. The Whitley family’s hilarious “His & Hers” theme on Porto Bello is original and a little cheeky. The Gaines family theme on Findlay Drive is spiritual with a soaring sled of Angels and an impressive star in the sky.
The Griswald Award: 1114 Montreau Court. The Bates family deserved the award for over the top lighting in a unique configuration, with beautifully synchronized music to the dazzling display.
The Santa Award: 3116 Westwood Drive.The Smith/Kortkamp family is new to the neighborhood but they weren’t afraid to “go big” with a huge Santa in an even more huge fishing boat in the front yard plus other unique pieces.
Santa’s Choice: 1428 Porto Bello Court. Speaking of “going big”, the Walker family went gigantic with a 20-foot-tall Santa Claus and a lawn full of big fat crazy blow-ups that somehow all work together.
The Findlay Award: 1200 Crowley Road. This prestigious prize named after Lake Interlochen developer Bob Findlay is for Lifetime Achievement in decorating. The Vernor family does a tremendous job not only for Christmas every year for more than 30 years but also for Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
2013 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
The Findlay Award….1408 Porto Bello. What better way to honor Bob and Carole Findlay who developed Interlochen 40 years ago but to present them with this special new prize for outstanding lifetime achievement. In the future it will go to a homeowner who has been lighting up for a minimum of 30 years.
The Griswald Award….1116 Crowley. Chevy Chase would be jealous of how many bulbs the Cleveland family lights up without a blackout.
Best Theme 1…. 3122 Westwood. In their first Interlochen Christmas, the Ikers wowed everyone with an incredible manger and life-like nativity scene.
Best Theme 2….1019 Loch Lomond. Thanks to another newcomer, the Delley family, for giving us the amazing “Yellow Jeep on the Front Lawn House”
Most Artistic 1….1421 Porto Bello. Where did the Flanigans find those beautiful purple peacocks and those gi-normous Christmas bulbs?
Most Artistic 2….1106 Montreau. The Bergmann family always does a great job and finally won after being a close runner up in previous years.
Santa’s Choice….1104 Montreau. This small court had so many beautiful homes but the Jenkins family’s hand-made giant Santa made them Santa’s choice.
The Santa Award….3203 San Paolo. It was hard to find room on their lawn for the award sign among the Anderson’s many big, beautiful Santa blowups.
The People’s Choice….1000 Loch Lomond. The Shinsky’s cute penguins won the special run off vote at the President’s Open House.
2012 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
Most Artistic –The Baker Family, 1408 Crowley. The long time owners moved this year and many of us were concerned because it is the first house on the water that is seen by the visitors. No worries. The new residents did a wonderful job in their first Christmas. Their back yard lighting brightened the lake for everyone to see.
Best Theme –The Began Family, 904 Loch Lomond. Another new homeowner with an impressive, unique first time effort with lots of hard work from their young son. Their Bayou theme has Santa in a pirogue boat pulled by alligators along.
The Griswald Award –The Powell Family, 3207 San Paulo. This beautiful home at the corner of Findlay and San Juan could win every year for its fantastic train and thousands of lights. They have won the coveted Griswald Award in the past but not for a while and the judges felt they deserved it again for their many years of decorating excellence.
The Santa Award –The Janeway Family, 702 Loch Lomond. This house has also won before for their Redneck Santa with his crazy pastel RV but they took it up to another level of freak this year with a Dallas Mavericks Santa that looks a lot like Dirk Nowitsky. Come back soon, Dirk, the Mavs need you.
Santa’s Choice –The Weaver Family, 1103 San Juan. Three words describe their front yard: Blow Up City. By day, it looks like a bunch of silly flat blobs on their front yard. At night, it all inflates and comes alive with a burst of color, light, characters and movement.
Most Artistic II –The Graham Family, 1021 Loch Lomond. These folks took a relatively simple “gift wrap” concept and made it into a beautiful work of art celebrating multiple cultures, languages and religions.
Best Theme II –The Clement Family, 1422 Porto Bello. If you couldn’t find any of those new LED icicle lights in the stores, maybe it’s because they are all in this front yard. Their “Joy to the World” concept has many one-of-a-kind hand made elements.
The People’s Choice Award –The Saenz Family, 1111 Crowley. Their Earth Mover Santa is a great piece. They were the top vote getter from among three worthy nominees in a vote held at the Open House.
2011 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
The judges agreed that every year there are at least 25 homes that could have won an award. Some homes like 3201 San Paolo, 702 Loch Lomond and 1423 Porto Bello are so photogenic that they could easily win every year, but residents understand that the judges are trying to encourage as much participation as possible.
Santa Award. Keith & Barbara Reed. 1101 Crowley. We heard a rumor that this is the last year that “Qatmandu” will let “Mudcatman” get up on the roof. Their salute to Texas is always great.
Most Artistic. David & Ginger Duperre. 1122 Crowley. Their “Blitzen’s Bar” may just be the single best new piece we saw and it’s set in a tropical Christmas paradise.
Best Theme. Jim & Judy Vernor. 1200 Crowley. These crazy folks do more at Halloween than many people do at Christmas. Where do they store those 1001 Dalmatians?
Griswald Award. Ron & Val Renfro. 1023 Loch Lomond. Chevy Chase would be proud of their fantastic new icicle lights and all their other bling.
Santa’s Choice. Jorge Varela & Kristin Drauschke. 1417 Porto Bello. A train? A plane? An iceberg? A snow-making machine? Seriously? These guys are so nuts they make the rest of us look sane!
Crowley Road collectively did an amazing job.
People’s Choice. Bill & Verina Farris. 1118 Crowley. The best “Merry Christmas” sign in the neighborhood. Their home looks like it came right out of the Swiss Alps.
Best Theme II. Kirk & Nichelle Wiggins. 1419 Porto Bello. We wanted to recognize at least one spiritual display and this one has light, color and beautiful music, too.
Most Artistic II. Joseph & Patricia Lukaska. 704 Loch Lomond. We wanted to recognize the best newcomer and these guys have done an incredible job after moving in only 30 days ago.
2010 Christmas Holiday Lights Award Winners
At the President’s Open House the 2010 Interlochen Christmas Lights Awards were announced. There were so many great homes from which to choose. Here are the winners:
Best Theme: Yolanda & Wayne Smith, 1404 Porto Bello, for their unique nativity scene with mechanical drummer and sheep.
Most Artistic (Lights): Dot & Tom Wightman, 1101 San Juan, for their white on white light scheme in front and back.
Most Artistic (Design): Melissa & Don North, 800 Loch Lomond, for their two stories of nutcrackers and garlands.
The Griswald Award: Shirley & Bob Austin, 801 Loch Lomond, for their multi-colored train, helicopter, and carousel.
Santa’s Choice: Sue & Jim Rozell, 3116 Westwood, for their great cartoon cut outs.
People’s Choice: Sandra Smith, 1106 Crowley, for her giant red fish on the roof. A tremendous effort for her first Christmas!
The People’s Choice winner was selected by a majority vote among everyone who attended the President’s Open House. Almost all the other winners won for the first time and no one had won in the previous five years.
Lifetime Achievement Award: to one of the original Interlochen residents, winners of many awards in the past. Francis & VernonPorter have lived at1429 Porto Bello at the corner of Westwood from the beginning of the development. At age 84, Vernon still puts up more lights than most of us young whippersnappers. If you drive by the Porter home you will see a vintage Interlochen award sign that Past President Larry Glover found and refurbished. Thanks, Francis and Vernon for lighting the way.