WHEN an ambulance slowed down outside his home and a paramedic drew back the curtain so the patient on board could see the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations he has on display, Gavin Connolly knew he was helping to spread some festive cheer with his local community.
Every Christmas the Villiers St resident transforms his property into a magnificent spectacle of flashy lights, twinkling ornaments and cheerful bright attractions.
This year, Mr Connolly's eye-catching efforts have earned him first place in the 2012 Midday Rotary Christmas Light-Up Competition. And his prize, a $500 voucher from Cetnaj Grafton, is sure to help him light up his home again at Christmas in 2013.
"I've been putting up my Christmas lights for about five years, ever since I moved in," he said.
"I don't do it to win prizes. I do it for all the children and the eld- erly who like to drive around town and look at all the Christmas lights at this time of the year.
"A lot of people told me I should enter the competition so I decided to give it a go and I ended up being the winner."
Mr Connolly said he was thrilled to win the competition, adding it was a complete surprise.
His colourful display, which comes to life every night and took "a few days of hard work", includes a giant blow-up merry-go-round, an inflatable Santa Claus on the front porch and a few thousand glimmering and sparkling Christmas lights.
Second prize in the Christmas Light-Up Competition went to Trevor Bailey, of 18 Edward Ogilvie Dve, and third to Stephen Powell, of 566 Summerland Way.
The winners were determined by a public vote of the competition's Facebook Page.
Mr Connolly thanked the sponsors of the competition and said he would be lighting up his home again in 2013.
He said his beautiful award-winning display at 24 Villiers St would be lit up each night until the New Year.
And Santa Claus is there too.
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