Time to light up
IT'S almost that time of the year again when the Christmas spirit takes hold of Gold Coast residents eager to light up and decorate their homes to bring a little cheer to their streets.
And for 78-year-old Elanora pensioner Len Hull, Gold Coast City Council's Christmas Light Up Competition is something he's been looking forward to all year.
Mr Hull, who has already begun decorating his home, also loves to dress up as Santa and give out presents for the many children who visit his street during the lights competition - sometimes by the busload.
Last year, he said, some bus drivers would ring him up to let him know how many children would be visiting his street to view the displays so he could prepare some toys and gifts for them.
He and his wife Doreen live in Boab Street, which won the Best Street category in last year's Christmas Light Up, and the couple have been decorating their home for the past six years.
"I sit around and when the mob's around, my wife would bring out bags of toys for them - we love it because what we give them we get back twofold - I have the time of my life," he said.
Most of the toys, he said, were donated to him to give out each year but he has still spent thousands of dollars on lights, sets and decorations over the years to bring joy to not only neighbours but visitors from throughout the Gold Coast and interstate.
"I've spent several thousand dollars on lights and decorations, many of which I make myself - but the thing is to wait till after Christmas when everything is half price," he said.
Cr Daphne McDonald, who with Mr Hull helped launch this year's competition last week, said the event was "fabulous" and gave enjoyment to not only families but the whole community.
"It's very popular, you can tell just by the number of buses taking people around, it's very hard sometimes to get a car parking space in this street," she said.
Cr McDonald said she and her late husband Wal would visit the displays in Boab Street each year with their two-year-old grand-daughter Isabella.
"I think it has become a competition between residents to see who can outdo each other," she said.
Last year hundreds of Gold Coast residents, businesses and community groups brought the city to life with festive light and a myriad of colourful decorations.
All entrants have the chance to win prizes from Robina Town Centre and have their home or office on display for public viewing in the weeks before Christmas.
Categories are: Best Residence, Best Single feature, Best Commercial Display, Best Church/Community Organisation, Best Street, Grand Champion and Best First Year Entry.
Entries close on November 16 and judging will take place between November 29 and December 2.
Entry forms are available at the website www.goldcoastcity.com.au or you can visit any of the council's offices and branch libraries.