A photo of an apartment building at night. The balconies are lit with holiday lights.
(31 Dairy Lane, Huntsville. Photo by Rotary Club of North Muskoka)
The Rotary Club of North Muskoka and its partners thank contestants, community members, volunteers and sponsors for contributing to a successful Santa's Light Up the Night Contest and Tour in 2020.
Forty-seven homes and businesses - some competing for Best Decorated Home or Best Decorated Business and others joining in just for fun - registered for the self-guided contest and tour that happened Nov. 20 to 27.
Community spirit was on full display, and our sponsors helped the event raise $3,400 in cash, plus roughly $2,000 in in-kind contributions, which lead to roughly $2,300 after expenses to support community members in need.
Congratulations to the winners, who were chosen by the voting public:
  • Best Decorated Home - 31 Dairy Lane, Huntsville
  • Best Decorated Business (tie) - The Friendly Fox, 58-1 Main St. E., Huntsville, and All Star Septic Pumping, 3138 Old Muskoka Rd., Utterson 
A downtown shop's window filled with a holiday display of ornaments and evergreen boughs.
(The Friendly Fox. Photo by Downtown Huntsville BIA)
A photo of a house decorated with Christmas lights.
(All Star Septic Pumping. Photo by Rotary Club of North Muskoka)
Several stops on the tour also acted as drop-off locations for nonperishable food and toy donations for the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation and helped raise more than 200 lbs, plus a large bin of toys, which have since been delivered by volunteers to the nonprofit for children and families in need this holiday season. 
"This has been a great initiative which helped our residents do something together when we are not seeing each other often these days," an organizer for Best Decorated Home winner 31 Dairy Lane told the club. "Participation has been fantastic both in donations and decorating."
A photo of two women standing beside the open trunk of a car. The trunk is filled with items for the food bank.
(31 Dairy Lane loads its nonperishable donations to the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation into a volunteer's car following the 2020 Santa's Light Up the Night Contest and Tour. Photo by Rotary Club of North Muskoka)
And a special thanks not only to Christmas Tyme, 78 Main St. E, Huntsville, for hosting the live virtual finale, broadcast from the shop, on Nov. 27, but also to Santa and Mrs. Claus for  taking time out of their busy holiday schedules to answer questions from area children and help us announce the winners during the finale.
Funds raised will support club projects focused on children and youth mental health, nutrition and leadership initiatives. Some funds have already helped support an area grandmother raising her grandchildren, while struggling in the COVID-19 crisis. 
"Thanks for helping make this Christmas season special for our community," said Rotarian Sue Fitzsimmons, club committee member for the event.  "Santa's Light Up the Night Contest and Tour was a huge success, and the donations to the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation will help others this Christmas."
A recording of the live stream is available until January.
And we look forward to hosting the second annual Santa's Light Up the Night Contest and Tour in November 2021.