Winners are grinners as best displays crowned

Published 10:00am 23 December 2021

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

The best Christmas light displays in the region have been recognised, with the winners of the inaugural Moreton Daily Christmas Lights in Moreton Bay Region competition being crowned.

The team of nine judges had an extremely difficult task in choosing the winners in the Judges Choice category, but they chose their favourite displays based on six important criteria elements - storytelling, creativity and colour, use of space, originality, impact (wow factor) and tidiness. The public also had the chance to vote for their favourite displays in the People's Choice categories, which saw thousands of votes pile in for displays right across the region. 

The competition saw 101 entries span across the region, with residential, businesses, street and canal frontages all taking part.

The competition was brought to you by Moreton Daily with the support of generous sponsors Ausbuild, Slater + Gordon Lawyers and USC, along with media partners Nine News and Brisbane Kids.

Find out more about the lucky winners below:

Judges’ Choice category, presented by Ausbuild

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
The Judge's Choice winners

First time the charm for Sue

A last-minute decision to enter her home into the competition netted Sue Stephens (pictured in header image) and her family $10,000.

Sue’s house at 6 Bendee Crt in Narangba was voted the winner in the Best Residential Property Display.

The Moreton Bay mother and grandmother says she is still in shock after taking out the top prize.

“Because we have been so busy every night meeting the community, the news hasn’t sunk in just yet,” Sue says.

“I still can’t believe we have won, especially as this was our first Christmas Lights competition, so we had no idea what to expect.

“When we were shortlisted as a finalist, we were really happy with that, but then to find out we had won, it was just the biggest shock ever.”

Sue and her family have been putting up Christmas lights for the last six years, but says every year got bigger and bigger.

“Putting up Christmas lights is really addictive,” Sue says.

“You start off by putting a few things on the gutter and lights on the shrubs, then you get a few inflatables, and before you know it, the display has taken up the whole front lawn!

“We will definitely be doing the competition again next year, and while I haven’t exactly thought about what I will do just yet, I will make it a little different, so the kids have something new and exciting to see.

“I like my displays to be what Christmas looks like through the innocent eyes of children.”

Sue measures the number of visitors she has based on how candy canes she has given out to kids and adults, and since December 1 she has handed out more than 3600 treats.

Sue promised her husband she wouldn’t spend all her winnings on more lights, but she hopes to get a few new displays, and treat her children and grandchildren to a well-deserved holiday.

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Dan Broxham from Bray Park

Dan’s generosity shines through

After hearing he had won $5000 by being named runner up in the Best Residential Property Display, Dan Broxham wasn’t thinking about how he would spend the money on himself.

Instead, he was thinking about how many presents he could buy for children who come and visit his house, located at 122 Sparkes Rd, Bray Park.

Every year Dan uses his own hard-earned cash to purchase up to 3000 gifts like Barbie dolls, Nerf Guns and even boogie boards for the children who visit.

“It’s good to give back to the community and bring a smile to someone’s face,” Dan says.

“Some people might be going through difficult times, so the presents they receive here might be the only ones they get to open on Christmas Day.”

Dan has been obsessed with decorating his house for six years.

“We have entered other Christmas lights competitions but had no luck, so to enter this one and come in second, that’s pretty incredible,” Dan says.

“It’s a really fun and enjoyable competition. I have had a chance to talk to other entrants and there’s no such thing as animosity – everyone is just really supportive of each other.

“I have had a lot of fun doing the competition this year and getting to meet lots of new people in my neighbourhood, so I will definitely be entering again next year.”

Dan says one of his favourite things at his display is the full-length sleigh, which his father-in-law built.

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Michael Turnbull & family, from Clontarf

Special school teacher Michael creates inclusive display

As a teacher at Redcliffe Special School, Michael Turnbull knows how important it is for all kids to feel included in everyday life.

That’s why when it came to designing his Christmas lights display at 1 Long St, Clontarf, Michael made sure that it was fun, bright, interactive and hands-on.

“I really wanted to make sure our house was full of fun, colour and was exciting so the kids could get amongst it all,” Michael says.

“There are lots of great things for the kids to enjoy. Probably the biggest thing they love is the snow machine. We can have up to 30 kids underneath, and as soon as it blasts out the bubbles, they just love chasing all the bubbles.

“I also have plenty of kids running around and jumping on the projector displays that move around on the driveway.”

Michael’s passion for creating spectacular displays stems from having children of his own.

“We had our first child 12 years ago, and we started with one strand of lights down the stairs, so when we took her outside and saw her little eyes light up, we knew we had to do more,” Michael says.

“Then as we had more children, we just kept adding to the display.

“What I really like to do is to ask my kids what they would like to see, so rather than just going out and buying everything on the shelves, we try and put a little of our family into the display.”

Michael’s house won the third place prize of $1000 in the Residential Property Display in the Judges’ Choice category.

While being announced as a winner was exciting, Michael admitted the giant cheque he received was “one of the best things ever”.

Michael and his wife have already started making plans on how they can make their display bigger and better next year, with the majority of the prize money going towards new lights.

“I think I will also buy a little present for myself,” Michael says, laughing.

Moreton Daily would like to thank Ausbuild for their generous donation towards the inaugural Moreton Daily Christmas Lights in the Moreton Bay Region competition, by providing cash prizes for first place, runner up and third place.

The third prize winnings of $1000 was an added bonus to this year’s competition to help spread the Christmas cheer even further.

People’s Choice categories, presented by Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Peter McCurley & wife, from North Lakes

Peter lights up in honour of his daughter

Creating a Christmas lights display that can be seen from the heavens is extremely important to Peter McCurley, who will use his $2000 cash prize to purchase more dazzling lights.

“We will try and make it a little brighter in memory of our daughter,” Peter says.

“She passed away at the age of 16 with brain cancer, so the brighter the house is, the more hopeful we are she can see it from heaven.”

Peter’s house at 7 Ballesteros St won the Best Residential Property Display in the People’s Choice category.

Hundreds of people line up to see his display every night.

“When Santa is here, we have anywhere between 300-400 people here. The line-up goes to the end of the street,” Peter says.

A lot of work and effort went into decorating his house, with Peter saying he starts three months prior to Christmas.

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Mia, Indie and Aria from Newport

No hanging up the power lead for Shane

After winning the Best Canal Display for 2021, Shane Farrell is more determined than ever to beat his neighbours with a stunning Christmas lights display, especially now since he has inspired them to enter next year’s Moreton Daily Christmas Lights Competition.

“It’s incredible that people in this canal are doing it, it’s a case of monkey see, monkey do,” Shane says, laughing.

“The competition will definitely be on next year, that’s for sure.

“I was thinking of hanging up the power lead, but I can’t do that anymore, so we will give it another year.”

Shane won $2000 for his display.

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Peter, Judy, Tampie, Emily & Julia (not pictured) all helped put together Samford Vet's winning display

Judy pays it forward with her winnings

After it was announced Samford Valley Veterinary Hospital was named the Best Business Display in the region, Clinical Lead Specialist Judy Law knew she would share the prize money with those who make her community a better place to live.

“We will be sharing this money with two of our favourite volunteer organisations…. the Samford Valley Rural Fire Brigade and Samford Riding for the Disabled,” Judy says.

“They do such great work for the community so we will split the $2000 prize money between the two of them.”

Judy says she was excited to be announced as a winner, especially since the display was a hit with young children.

“It has been fantastic to see so many people coming and standing amongst the lights and taking photos,” she says.

“All of the kids have been interacting with each other and laughing with one another, so that was really cool to see.

“We already have some new ideas for what we can do next year for the kids.”

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
Gabriella, Krystal and Emily won the USC Voter's prize of $1,000

Cash prize a lifeline for Krystal

Voting for her favourite decorated house has scored Krystal $1000 in the voter prize in the People’s Choice category, thanks to USC.

The money will come in handy for Krystal and her family, as both she and her husband are currently off work.

“This money means a lot as I am off work until February on unpaid leave, and my husband is off work because he hurt himself,” Krystal says.

“So, this is amazing for us and the kids to have a little extra this year.”

Krystal and her family voted for a house in Burpengary which they thought looked the best.

“We took the kids to go and see the house in North Harbour and the kids were just mesmerised by it,” Krystal says.

Winners are grinners as best displays crowned
(L-R) Jodie & Chris Reid, Yvonne Miles, Barb 'Mrs Claus' & Santa Steve from Sandstone Point

Christmas winnings a group effort

Neighbours in Clarke Terrace at Sandstone Point are rejoicing after their festive Christmas displays won them the title of the Best Street Display.

Christopher Reid says the street has been extremely popular with Christmas enthusiasts, with busloads of people visiting every night.

“We have had buses come from Caboolture and Bribie Island,” Christopher says.

“I would say there are between 400-500 people who come and look every night as a minimum.

“Santa Steve goes out on traffic control and greets everyone and makes sure everyone is safe.”

The street won $2000 in prize money which they will split with all participants, with some saying they will pay off some of their electricity bills and buy new decorations for next year.

Looking for the best light displays in the region? Check out our interactive Christmas lights map to plan your trip here


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