3rd Annual Deck the House Lights Contest: Jefferson County Returns with Categories

Do you think you have the most elegant, best holiday display, or over-the-top decorated house in your area?! Prove it.

Jefferson County communities are once again mapping out amazing holiday light displays with the third annual Deck the House lights contest. Jefferson County residents may enter their holiday-decorated home in this free countywide competition to win a special “Deck the House” ornament and other holiday-themed prizes from participating communities.

Several directors of local Jefferson County Parks and Recreation and Tourism Departments gathered to create this family tradition two years ago to provide a fun way folks could enjoy the holidays safely. While the program is focused on winning the competition, it’s just as popular for residents to enjoy driving around and admiring all the holiday light displays. “We encourage all homes to participate – big displays or small displays – to offer residents a bigger map,” said Fort Atkinson Parks and Recreation Director Brooke Franseen.

Beginning November 21st, submit a picture of your home online and check out other submitted displays around the County once the map is released on December 9th through the Deck the House Facebook page. There you will find links to an interactive mapping function to build a personalized driving route for your own self-guided holiday light tour.

To give more interested entries a chance to win, there are now three categories for folks to try to win. The categories include: Most Elegant, Best Holiday Spirit, and Clark Griswold. “With the new categories, we’re hoping to gather more interest since a simply decorated home will have a greater chance at winning versus competing against the ever-popular music light show homes,” said Franseen.

The Most Elegant category will focus on the beauty of winter with deer, snowflakes, lit wreaths, garland, trees or bushes, or snowmen props. The Best Holiday Spirit category is best described as lights and decoration that includes displays and/or blowups. This can be as simple or complex as your decorating skills and creativity pleases. Lastly, anything goes with Clark Griswold category: any color lights, props, inflatables, roof top and yard décor that can be seen from outer space fits into this category. Submit your home and the public will determine which category best fits your home when the voting starts on December 9th. Submissions are only allowed to win one category.

To enter this year’s Deck the House lights contest, photos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 4th. The map and online voting link will be available December 9th, with a deadline to vote for your favorite homes by December 18th. One winner in each category for every community will be announced on December 19th.

But the fun doesn’t end there! The category winners will become countywide finalists and compete against all other communities for a chance to win an additional prize through the Jefferson County Area Tourism Council. Countywide voting begins December 19th and ends on December 26th. Countywide category winners will be announced on December 27th, on both the Deck the House and Jefferson County Area Tourism Council’s Facebook pages. “The Jefferson County Area Tourism Council (JCATC) is thrilled to again sponsor the countywide winners for the Deck the House lights contest,” said JCATC President Katie Newcomb. “It’s a wonderful contest that allows residents and visitors to experience and discover the wonder of the season in picturesque Jefferson County.”

Participating Jefferson County, WI communities include: Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Whitewater, Cambridge, Watertown, Johnson Creek, Ixonia, and Waterloo. More information and links on the program may be found at the event’s Facebook page.

Published On: Thursday, November 10, 2022

For Media Inquiries:

Please contact:
Katie Newcomb, President JCATC
email our president

About the Jefferson County Area Tourism Council

The Jefferson County Area Tourism Council is a grass roots organization with the sole purpose of increasing tourism throughout the entire Jefferson County area. Our group consists of area Chamber and business representatives throughout the County. The purpose of our organization is to bring together businesses, organizations, associations and individuals for the development and promotion of tourism in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.

Need our logo?


  • Jefferson County Wisconsin Tourism

    JCATC Logo Package

    This zip file contains our logos in color and black and white as web (png) and print (pdf) formats.

Press Release Archive