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The original item was published from 10/31/2023 9:23:23 AM to 10/31/2023 9:27:35 AM.

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Leisure Services

Posted on: November 1, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge

Merry and Bright 2023 logo

Transform your home into a winter wonderland for cash prizes this holiday season. The 7th annual Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge invites local homeowners to create the most spectacular holiday displays in town. 

The Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge is an exterior home-decorating contest for single-family residences in the greater Cookeville area. The contest was created by Cookeville’s Leisure Services and the Upper Cumberland Association of Realtors (UCRA) to bolster Cookeville’s holiday spirit. 

According to Libby Capps with UCRA, “It has become a tradition again to see all the decorations and holiday spirit displayed by so many. It’s great to see others out enjoying the lights, especially the little ones. It brings the small-town feel back.” 

To qualify, homes must be within a 15-mile radius of Cookeville’s Historic Courthouse Square. Those interested in entering the contest must do so before 4 p.m. on Nov. 20. The contest costs $10 to enter. 

Judging for the contest takes place Nov. 25 – Nov. 30. All homes entered in the contest must have their decoration lights on from 5 – 10 p.m. on those nights. If a home does not have its decorations illuminated for the judges, the home will not be considered for an award. 

Contest judges will decide which homes win across the various categories. The prize for each category winner is $50, and a home can win in more than one category. Competition is fierce, but the point of the contest is to have fun!

“The work and dedication that is put into each display, blows me away!” says Sally Herren, Recreation Programmer at Leisure Services.  “My hope is that the Merry and Bright contest brings joy to everyone in our town.”

An additional social media contest will be held from Dec. 4 – Dec. 8 to decide the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Pictures of all the holiday homes will be shared on the Facebook page of the Cookeville Leisure Services Department. The photo with the most likes by 1p.m. on Dec. 8 wins! 

Homes entered in the contest will also be included on a Tour of Lights map that will be shared with the local community. Maps will be available in December and can be picked up from the Leisure Services Office or at City Hall. Maps will also be available online at

For more information about the Merry & Bright Holiday Home Challenge and Tour of Lights, call the Cane Creek Recreation Center at 931-526-7393 or the Leisure Services office at 931-520-4386

Register here!
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