Superior is poised to score a holiday hat trick. For the past two years, voters in the annual Christmas Lighting Challenge have crowned Superior with the “Best City” award. The final date to vote for this year’s winners is Thursday, Dec. 19.

Douglas County has 21 light displays in the running, down considerably from last year’s 33.

“The weather has played a huge role in entries this year,” said Nikky Farmakes, director of marketing and social media for the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. “The Thanksgiving weekend storm had destroyed a few of the displays and some of our entries had to drop out. The weather has also made it difficult for those who may have considered entering a last-minute display.”

Residents were already under a time crunch due to a late Thanksgiving.

“It’s just thrown everyone off on holiday stuff. You think you have more time than you do,” said Megan Meyer, executive director of Superior Public Museums.

Fairlawn Mansion is one of five Superior business entries in this year’s light challenge. Passersby will see lit candles in every window as well as porch decorations and lights twinkling from the tower and inner staircase. Thanks to the fact that most of the decorations were on the porch, Meyer said, they didn’t have to dig the display out when Winter Storm Ezekial hit.

Angie’s Closet is also decked out for the holidays with a white tree, borrowed metal snowman and red plaid stockings.

“I love Christmas and I love decorating,” said owner Angie Kiminski, who is already cooking up plans for a winter scene display when the holidays end.

She encouraged people to peer over the snowbanks or take a stroll down the sidewalk to see the displays.

“For many, including myself, it has become a family tradition to go out and take a drive to see the lights during the holidays,” Farmakes said. “The citizens and businesses of Superior have always created brilliant and beautiful displays.”

It’s a colorful way for people and businesses to share their community pride and holiday cheer.

Meyer has driven by a few of the entries, and hopes to catch a few more this week.

“I love driving by Christmas lights," she said.

At one of the residential displays, visitors may see a merry man in a red suit. Farmakes said Brett DeFoe can be found out at his 2101 E. Third St. display most nights from 5-10 p.m.. dressed as Santa.

Every year, the Chamber Ambassadors donate $5 for every Douglas County display to a non-profit.

“This year they chose Twin Ports Ruth House as they felt it is an organization that provides a wonderful service to our community throughout the year,” Farmakes said.

The nonprofit ministry operates a daytime drop-in center and nighttime warming center for the homeless at 632 Grand Ave. in Superior.

Farmakes encouraged everyone to drive past this year’s displays and vote for their favorites on the Christmas Light Challenge website.

Twinkling tours

Christmas trees are decorated in the piano room and also in the first floor hallway at Fairlawn Mansion on Monday Dec.16.  (Jed Carlson /
Christmas trees are decorated in the piano room and also in the first floor hallway at Fairlawn Mansion on Monday Dec.16. (Jed Carlson /

To get a close-up look at Fairlawn’s lights, inside and out, take a twinkling tour from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, or Friday, Dec. 27.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students. Children age 12 and under are admitted free.

2019 Christmas Lighting Challenge Participants


Angie's Closet, 1315 Tower Ave.

Wine Beginnings, 1413 Tower Ave.

Wine Seller Winery, 1409 Belknap St.

Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, 305 Harborview Parkway

Fairlawn Mansion, 906 E. Second St.


1107 N. Seventh St.

1928 Missouri Ave.

2012 Missouri Ave.

2319 Susquehanna Ave.

1215 N 19th St. (nominated by a neighbor)

1111 Lincoln St.

3114 Hughitt Ave.

3411 Hughitt Ave.

1516 N. 54th St.

2017 Central Ave.

6411 Hughitt Ave. (nominated by a neighbor)

6420 Fisher Ave. (nominated by a neighbor)

606 E. Fifth St.

2101 E. Third St. (Master Category)

425 31st Ave. E.

7238 County Road E.