News Press conducting third annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest

David Bitton/Stillwater News Press The Walton home on S. Walnut Street in Stillwater was voted the winner of the 2017 News Press Holiday Lights Contest. For this year’s contest, the News Press will partner with, run by OSU alumni Mike Henson and John Castro. Keep an eye open for further details and entry forms beginning in Wednesday’s edition of the News Press.

Just in time for the holidays. The Stillwater News Press is again seeking city residents to participate in the Holiday Home Decorating Contest. This is for displays that can be seen from a public street. Winners are featured in the newspaper and receive a $100 gift card. Residents can nominate their own home or a neighbor’s.

The News Press is now running the contest entry form, which also includes all the rules and regulations. Entries can also be emailed to Some of the rules include:

• Display must be a private residence in Stillwater

• Display must be visible from the street

• Displays must not create a safety hazard or violate city codes

• Displays must be lighted during week of Dec. 13-17 between 6 and 9 p.m.

The News Press, this year, is teaming up with, a company started by local engineers Mike Henson and John Castro. Among many useful things, the site will generate a map of displays and automate scoring for whomever is selected to be official judges for the event.

“We are both OSU alumni, so we are always excited to support Stillwater activities,” Castro said. “We saw the contest last year and knew we wanted to be involved. We’ve developed our software for events just like this, ones that helps everyone to see the contestants and allows them to vote for their favorite. We also generate a map of entries that provides a link for directions, so it is easy to find the decorations.”

The judges will look for creativity, craftsmanship and overall visual impact. Last year’s winner was the Walton family with a Candy Cane Lane display on South Walnut Street. “We do it to put a smile on someone’s face,” Cindee Walton told the News Press. “Lights are just magical for kids from 1 to 92.”

The 2016 winner was the Turner family and their display on Grandview Ct.