Cheney Free Press -

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Cheney gets holiday home display contest


November 29, 2018

If you like to put up more than a single string of Christmas lights, the Gardeners of Cheney Club want to hear from you — or your neighbors.

The folks who have been awarding the nicest looking yards each month since at least the mid-1990s now want to award the home with the best looking Christmas display this holiday season. Together with the Cheney Kiwanis Club, the Gardeners are seeking nominations for the home with the best holiday decorations in Cheney, with the winner getting a $25 gift certificate from Jarms Ace Hardware store.

Garden club member Betty Ray said the idea for a holiday lights award came to them last season, but came too late to put into place. This year, it’s different.

“We are here and we do have enough time to make it work,” Kiwanis Club member Pat Isbell said.

As with the spring through fall “Yard of the Month,” the best decorated home isn’t necessarily subject to any rules other than each individual’s sense of what looks good. Isbell said this can range from the very simple and ornate to something with a more religious theme to “Hollywood wannabes.”

“Anything that will appeal to you and make the community look better,” he added.

Ray said the idea is to reward someone’s desire to beautify the community while acknowledging the season’s traditions. Isbell said he has fond memories of when driving around the neighborhoods to view Christmas lights was a family tradition, and hoped that getting a Christmas lights award tradition started might encourage others to take part in such traditions again.

Anyone wishing to nominate a home’s decorations can call Ray at (509) 944-1741 with the home’s address, leaving a message if she doesn’t answer right away. The addresses will be compiled and on Thursday, Dec. 6, garden club members will drive around Cheney to view the homes and award a winner.

“Like we do for the Yard of the Month, we’d like to have somebody awarded and appreciated for beautifying Cheney,” Ray said.

Both hope the new contest takes off and results in more residents putting up holiday displays in the future. Isbell added that if it proved popular, a similar contest for Cheney businesses might also develop at some point, like one that was sponsored years ago by the former Cheney Chamber of Commerce.

“I know, because I won second place one year,” Isbell said. “I don’t anticipate we’ll ever be like Leavenworth (Washington), but it would be nice to see a little more than in the past.”

John McCallum can be reached at


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