Holes and Hot Chocolate: Polson woman shows how to light up Western Montana
It turns out there's a certain magic touch to having one of the best Christmas light displays in Western Montana.
It involves lots of holes in the lawn and plenty of hot chocolate.
Those ingredients, and a willingness to go "all in" were enough to put Jackie Trujillo of Polson on top, winning the top prize in this year's "Light up Western Montana" contest, sponsored by Townsquare Media and Republic Services.
Jackie told Dennis Bragg on the "Daybreak with Dennis" show on KYSS-FM she and her husband began putting up the lights after the year of COVID in 2020, to lift the neighborhood's spirits. Today, the display is the center of festivity, with not just lights, but lots of handcrafted signs.
As much as a Christmas adventure as a light display
"I did pathways this year so that people can walk through the display," Jackie explained. "And there are signs, some of them are little more for adults. But Candy Cane Lane and then it says "North Pole Express" and it says don't worry, there is no train station. Little things like that. Yeah, and it's been fun. And then I serve cocoa on Friday and Saturday nights and candy canes."
"And sometimes kids can reach into Santa's sack and maybe pull out that stuffed animal."
That's a lot of holes
Jackie says she invested another $1500 in the display this year and will keep it going. This year they moved more of the display after the roof and down to ground level, making it easier, and safer, to help set up. And she says she drilled "probably 400 holes" in the lawn for the stakes.
Now, she has an additional $500 from the prize to invest next year, telling us she was very "grateful to have won."
Follow this link to see more of the wonderful entries from this year's contest.