Vote for your favorite Christmas lights – OWN contest runs to Dec. 12

       Fresh off its third annual Spirit Awards, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) is looking to raise Christmas spirit with its first-ever Holiday Lighting Contest.
       The plan is simple: Just let OWN know about your favorite displays on the older Westside. The two locations that get the most votes - one in the Residential category, one in Commercial/Organizational - will be pictured in the next OWN newsletter (to be published between Christmas and New Year's), according to Bunny Blaha, OWN board member and contest organizer.
       The voting deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 12.
       “There's nothing like a friendly holiday lights contest among neighbors to generate some fun and excitement,” Blaha said. The goal, she added, is to “make the Westside cheery and bright during the holiday season and to encourage more citizens to do so.”
       The contest idea was suggested by Pete Tyree, a long-time Westside resident, she said.
       OWN recommends no particular criteria for people in choosing one display or another. “It's just whatever they like,” Blaha said.
       Submissions to OWN need to state the following:
  • Whether the category is Residential or Commercial/ Organizational.
  • The address of the display.
  • The property owner's name (if known).
  • The business/organization name (if it's in that category).
  • The submitter's name.
           Entries should be sent to or mailed to OWN, P. O. Box 6651, Colorado Springs, CO 80934
           OWN also has a website:
           The older Westside, a Neighborhood Strategy Area for which OWN has been the city-recognized volunteer advocacy group since 1978, is basically bounded by I- 25, Uintah and King streets, and 30th and 31st streets south to Lower Gold Camp Road and Rio Grande streets. The area also takes in the neighborhood off Colorado Avenue and west of 31st to the city limits. (See map on this page for exact boundaries).
           The OWN newsletter, which publishes quarterly, is called the Westside Story, and it is mailed to the roughly 8,000 households in the Westside NSA.
           The Spirit Awards is an OWN judging that honors people who have improved their properties. Those awards were presented Nov. 8.

    Westside Pioneer/press release