Lights tour keeps fes­tive at­mos­phere

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

Andy Hop­kins would love to be able to see his street from space at Christ­mas time.

He and his wife Deb have en­tered their Christ­mas lights into the Bay­leys Christ­mas Lights Tour for the first time.

‘‘I re­mem­ber grow­ing up as a kid and hav­ing the in­side com­pletely dec­o­rated. We don’t do that now and this is just the mod­ern way to do the same thing,’’ he says.

Their O’Sul­li­van Drive prop­erty is so far the only home on the street fully decked out for Christ­mas, but Andy is hop­ing their lights will in­spire the neigh­bours.

‘‘We love shar­ing it. It would be great if the neigh­bours get into the spirit next year and we get some real com­pet­i­tive­ness on the street.

‘‘It would be nice to see the road from space,’’ he laughs.

The cou­ple are not new to dec­o­rat­ing a home with Christ­mas lights. Their former Auck­land prop­erty was al­ways an at­trac­tion, but not to the ex­tent they have gone to this year.

‘‘We have bought more since we came here.’’

Deb says they are both look­ing for­ward to peo­ple com­ing to en­joy the lights, but they say this year’s dis­play will be noth­ing com­pared to next year.

‘‘Andy has got big plans for next year, maybe lights to mu­sic,’’ she says.

Their O’Sul­li­van Drive prop­erty, as well as Ce­cil and Heather Thomp­son’s im­pres­sive lights spec­tac­u­lar on James Ave, were the lucky win­ners of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion and have each re­ceived a $150 Mitre 10 voucher.

In pre­vi­ous years, win­ners were de­cided by judges, now they are cho­sen at ran­dom, to make it

‘‘I re­mem­ber grow­ing up as a kid and hav­ing the in­side com­pletely dec­o­rated. ’’

fair for ev­ery­one in­volved.

There are only a mea­gre seven en­trants this year, com­pared to the 18 who were in­volved last year; and while this is a bit dis­ap­point­ing for Mar­garet Troughton from Bay­leys Mata­mata, she says it doesn’t change the way they feel about it.

‘‘We love the spirit of Christ­mas and light­ing up lives of other peo­ple, and bring­ing them joy.

‘‘I think Christ­mas has caught ev­ery­one on the hop, and I am sure peo­ple are putting them up now, but it has been slower than nor­mal.’’

ANDY HOP­KINS

Andy and Deb Hop­kins O’Sul­li­van Drive prop­erty is among the en­trants in the Bay­leys Christ­mas Lights Tour

Ce­cil and Heather Thomp­son’s James Ave prop­erty.

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