Decorating contest winners announced

Emily Koon, of Edinburg, was awarded second place in the town's residential decorating contest. She said she returned to Edinburg in August after living in Richmond for 25 years. Ryan Cornell/Daily

EDINBURG — Four months after returning to live in Edinburg, Emily Koon received an unexpected visit from Mayor Dan Harshman.

“I heard the doorbell ring, and I opened the door and it was the mayor and he had a package in his hand,” she said.

Koon won second place in the town’s outdoor decorating contest for residents this month. That package Harshman was carrying was a framed plaque awarding her the honor.

Pine garlands line the front porch of her home at 217B Shenandoah Ave., and wreaths hang neatly from each window, while a potted poinsettia and a wooden sled frame the front door. A pair of moose figurines greet visitors on the front steps and remind Koon of her son, who lives in Alaska.

Koon, who had lived in Richmond for the past 25 years, moved back to her hometown of Edinburg in August. She said she remembers winning the town’s decorating contest more than 40 years ago when she was a girl living on High Street.

“When I saw they were still doing it, I thought I’d decorate, but there’s so much competition around,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d win anything.”

Jennifer Sandy, of 107 Water St., won first place in the residential category — the Northern Virginia Daily was unable to reach her for comment — and Byron and Karen Wightman, of 508 Stony Creek Blvd., won third place.

The Edinburg Mill took home first place in the business category for its outdoor decorations.

John Bailey, an employee of the mill who decorated the building with lights and ribbons, said this is the first year they’ve won the award.

Second place in the business category was awarded to Wightman’s Insurance, and third place went to Renaissance Bed and Breakfast.

Mayor Harshman said judging was conducted by the Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2447.

The Griswold Award, a prize named after the spirited dad in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” was given to HL and Phyllis Johnson, of 117 Stony Creek Blvd.

The award is given to someone who “exceeds the decorating abilities of mere mortals,” Harshman said. “Some people trim their windows or trim their gutters — the Griswold goes to someone who goes all out.”

Edinburg’s Christmas tree, which measures about 80 feet high, is also one of the tallest Christmas trees in Virginia, Harshman added.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com