Center Line residents again asked to ‘Light Up the Sky’

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published December 7, 2022

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CENTER LINE — It starts with a single bulb then transforms into an extravaganza of lights illuminating the dark winter sky with the annual Light Up the Sky Contest.

This 20-year Center Line tradition of decorating homes and businesses with lights for many residents heightens the excitement of the holiday season.

“Any program like Light Up the Sky brings together members of the community,” said Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine.  “The lights raise the holiday spirit.”

Creativity and an abundance of lights capture the judges’ attention, according to Jan Ornsten, who will be among the judges for this year’s contest. Ornsten, who has been with the Center Line Beautification Commission for 20 years and the Light Up the Sky subcommittee for 10 years, said the light displays grow more elaborate each year.

“The lights displayed from top to bottom, putting lights on the shingles of the rooftop, seeing Santa on the chimney, are what stood out to me,” Ornsten said.  “Along with electronic lights on sidewalks and lighting archways.”

“More is better” appears to be the mantra of the Light Up the Sky Contest.

“As many lights as possible makes for the coolest displays,” said Champine.  “The more you see on people’s lawn, the more joy it brings.”

According to Ornsten, the contest grows every year, too.  She said it catches on; neighbors see the light displays and want to participate. Last year there were 50 homes participating, and at least 10 were nominated.

Nominations of homes and businesses will be accepted at Center Line City Hall until 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15. To nominate a home or business, call (586) 757-6800.

Ornsten, along with her fellow judge Barb Trbovich, chart a course and drive down every street in Center Line to determine which homes or businesses will be recognized. Awards include a $25 gift card. The judging will take place after dark on Sunday, Dec. 18.

This year along with the first-, second- and third-place prizes, there will also be a children’s award for best blow-up characters. All winners will be presented with their awards at the February 2023 Center Line City Council meeting.

All City Council meetings are open to the public and are held at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at the David W. Hanselman Municipal Complex at 7070 E. 10 Mile Road.