Gabbert a two-year Tour of Lights winner |

Gabbert a two-year Tour of Lights winner

Residents put up impressive displays of lights for annual contest

Craig Daily Press Staff Report
jennifer l. grubbs/daily press
Jennifer L. Grubbs

Every year, residents brave climbing on ladders, wielding staple guns and extension cords. They set up blow-up figures of snowmen, the Grinch and Santa Claus, and place reindeer made from strings on lights on their lawns.

Roofs, windows, fences, mailboxes, trees – nothing is left unadorned by the hard-core decorator.

This year, 13 such homes were entered in the 2008 Holiday Tour of Lights, sponsored by the Craig Daily Press and Yampa Valley Electric Association.

The judges traveled around, enjoying an evening of looking at beautifully lit-up homes, as well as making hard decisions of who the winners would be.

But one decision was not too hard for the judges.

After a unanimous vote, Clint Gabbert, a 17-year-old Moffat County High School student, takes first place for the second year in a row for his multi-colored light display at 11327 County Road 103 north of Craig.

Electronically set to holiday music that is broadcast on a radio station, the house and surrounding yard and fence are covered in as many lights as Gabbert’s family’s house has the electric capacity to handle.

To get there, travel north on Colo. Highway 13 to mile marker 105. Shortly after is a left turn for C.R. 103. The lit-up house – and 30-foot Christmas tree with a star on top – is visible from the highway.

The second-place winner is also a repeat, with Dave and Tammie Johannes’ home at 1125 County Road 30 south of Craig being selected by the judges. The judges liked how the display wound around the entire house and included a wide mix of types of lights and elements. This display also included music, but it was not timed to it.

The third-place winner is not a repeat from 2007, as Mike and Deb Nesta captured the judges’ vote for their display at 1889 B St. in Craig. The judges said it was an attractive display overall, with red candy canes lining the walkway and green lights around the porch beams. This display also wound around the house.

Honorable mention this year went to Matthew Cassidy’s home at 885 Rose St. in Craig. This display included lots of outlining of parts of the house, fences and garage in bright colors, many provided by newer LED lights. The judges also liked how the display reflected the Christmas theme.

Yampa Valley Electric Association give out monetary prizes of $200 for first place; $125 for second place; $75 for third place; and $50 for honorable mention. All winners also receive a one-year subscription to the Daily Press.

The contest was open to all Craig and Moffat County residents, and people were allowed to enter their own home or a friend or neighbor’s home. Entries for 13 total homes were received, including some entries duplicating addresses.

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