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CHARLESTON (JG-TC) -- The city is looking for the best Christmas lights again this year with their "Spirit of the Holidays" contest.

The contest organizers are calling upon locals who believe they have an impressive home light display this year to participate.

Like Christmas itself, the deadline to participate in the annual contest is fast approaching. Hannah Cole, recreation supervisor, said the deadline to register ends at 5 p.m. Friday.

Those interested can register online or in-person at the Parks and Recreation Department office on the second floor of City Hall, 520 Jackson Ave. Registration is free. Currently only nine entries are signed up for the contest.

Cole said there are a few new entries this year in comparison to last. A panel of judges will be riding from home to home from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Judges will be looking at the type of lighting, the creativity, the cohesiveness, the technical prowess, Christmas spirit in each display.

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Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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