CONSTANCE BAY – Christmas lights are picking up the slack in West Carleton where parades have had to let go during a Christmas season in the midst of a global pandemic.

With this year’s long running Santa Day in the Bay, cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, the Constance Buckham’s Bay Community Association (CBBCA) is launching a Light Up the Bay contest to kick-off the holiday season.

“First, its been a year when we’ve missed a lot of things and our inability to have a parade, which I get involved with, was a big loss,” CBBCA director Graham Ginsberg told West Carleton Online yesterday (Dec. 2). “It’s very popular in the Bay.” 

Ginsberg says, getting his own house ready for the Christmas season helped ignite the idea in his own mind.

“I got my lights up early due to the weather being so nice and decided to leave them on, I usually wait until Dec. 1, and it brightened my mood,” Ginsberg said. “I hoped getting more people to put up lights would brighten everybody’s mood.  We’ve had lights contests before in the Bay but not for a few years. So, the more we can get hopefully the brighter everybody will feel.  Obviously, I am not entering the contest myself, an obvious conflict of interest, but hopefully a contest will encourage people to get involved.”

Ginsberg says the contest is a simple, fun way to get in to the spirit of Christmas while respecting the rules surrounding this terrible pandemic.

“I hope it encourages people to put up more lights than they normally would or put up lights when they haven’t in the past,” he said. “I am not sure about the forest and the riverside, hopefully they will bask in a reflected glow, but I am sure the community as a whole will look more alive.”

The Light Up the Bay contest started Dec. 1 and registration closes on Dec. 17. To enter, email lightupthebay@cbbca.ca with your address, name and contact number. On Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 judges from the CBBCA will ride around the community using the list of registrants and will pick a first, second and third prize.

The CBBCA designated catchment area is enclosed by Torbolton Ridge Road, Vances Side Road and the Ottawa River.