By Ron VandenBoom
Reinowski Farms in Kremlin bettered its second-place win of 1998 to captured first-place honors this year in the annual Jaycees Christmas Lighting Contest.
"I've always been a Christmas person," Agnes Reinowski said about the win. "It's special and it means so much to the family."
Reinowski's sons, Larry and Ron, and her daughter and son-in-law Peggy and Ray Hustis, all contributed to decorating the home that encompasses hundreds of lights and features a decorated bulldozer type tractor being pulled by a reindeer on the front lawn.
The decorating project began just before Thanksgiving and according to Reinowski has "just been steady."
Reinowski said she would allow her family to continue to decorate her home for as long as they were willing to do it, noting that she already has plans for next year.
"I'm just thankful for everything that's ever happened with my family," she said. "It means more than just decorating."
Reinowski said she plans to keep the display up until after New Years.
Stacey Pribyl, chairperson for this year's contest, said the Reinowskis chose to donate their $75 grand prize to the North Havre Food Bank.
Reinowski Farms will also receive a traveling plaque from the Jaycees and a snowman that is to be displayed in their yard to note their first-place victory.
Second place was won by another Kremlin resident -- Bud Werbelow, who also donated his $50 prize to the North Havre Food Bank. He will also receive a snowman to place on his lawn.
A third-place snowman will be placed on the lawn of Jake and Judy Meyer of Havre. The Meyers also donated their $25 prize to the North Havre Food Bank. This is the second prize for Meyers, having won first place in 1997.
The judging took place Dec. 11.
Pribyl said all of the homes they looked at were very nice and was pleased that everybody worked so hard.
"I give credit to anybody who had the time to do it," Pribyl said, referring to all of the decorated homes. "I want to thank everybody for participating. It makes it fun for everybody."
Pribyl said any home in Hill County is eligible to compete in the annual contest, but those living outside Havre need to call and let them know they want to be included in the judging.