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Woodland offering $5,000 cash prize for best Christmas display

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WOODLAND, Calif. (KTXL) -- The city of Woodland is shining a little brighter this holiday season because of a contest for the most festive displays.

It started as a few small ceramic houses handed down by their parents and little by little, year by year, the Kennedys have built a Christmas city outside their Woodland home.

“We love Christmas and as the kids have gotten older they love helping with this as well. And it’s something different and unique that we’re able to build,” said Sam Kennedy.

Their holiday decorations are made up of a 100-piece collection of miniature homes, businesses, people, a fair and even a train.

“It’s neat to see it and we come outside to interact with people we might not have met if they didn’t stop by to see the village. So it’s really nice,” said Trista Kennedy.

Now Woodland is trying to spread a little Christmas cheer.

“A lot of people remember doing that with their parents, grandparents and driving around and seeing these amazing lights and having these neighborhoods just lit up. And that’s what we want to bring back to Woodland,” said Al Eby with Visit Woodland.

Visit Woodland is hosting a holiday lights contest with thousands in cash prizes. The first-place winner will take home $5,000 in cash.

“When you create that energy level where people are just that ooh and aah, that’s great for us because people see that sense of community,” Eby told FOX40.

Houses will be voted on by a panel of people from outside the Woodland area to keep things fair and impartial.

The Longs said they have been adding to their Christmas display for the past 10 years.

“We try to make our house the nicest in the neighborhood,” said Traci Long.

It has become a tradition for the entire family.

“We love Christmas. Have a grandchild and we want her to love Christmas too,” said Randy Long.

They said they hope their holiday lights brighten up Colette Way, a place their family has called home for generations.

“It makes people happy, you know what I mean,” Traci said. “It’s just a simple thing and I think it makes people feel better.”

While the prize money is a nice holiday treat, for the Kennedys, the real reward is the time spent with each other and getting to look back at the creation they built one light and village at a time.

“It’s a time to unite and this is just one thing we can do to add the cheer to the season,” Trista said.

The deadline to enter the contest is this Sunday. Learn more on the Visit Woodland site.

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