GEBE is once again organizing the GEBE Christmas Lighting Competition in the spirit of spreading the Christmas Cheer on St. Maarten, Saba and Statia with the goal of bringing communities together, enhancing community spirit, spreading Christmas cheer and lighting up Christmas.  

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GEBE is therefore strongly encouraging the use of LED lighting to reduce the amount of electricity needed. LED technology is much more efficient and allows participants to create amazing lighting displays at a fraction of the cost of traditional lighting. LED lights are 80% more efficient, last for years and come in a large variety of shapes, colors and brightness. Plus LED lights have color changing technology which adds a significant wow factor to the displays. A comparison of a 50-string incandescent Christmas lights to a 50-string LED Christmas lights rendered approximately NAF. 7.50 savings per string. LED lights are available on St. Maarten at many stores.

The format of the GEBE Christmas Lighting Competition will remain the same with some minor changes. The lighting up is scheduled to start two days later. Further, the number of hours that the participants would need to have their lights on for sufficient time to judge has been reduced by 10 hours. Registration is free, so you have nothing to lose and lots to win. A panel of judges will come during the Christmas season to see your display and score it based on creativity, traditional display, first impression, special effects and use of energy saving technology.

Already the competition has received more registrations to date than previous years. Plus this year, there will be a special prize for Best Newcomer to encourage even more residents to participate. The only requirement is that the home did not participate in the 2008 competition. "We want to give newcomers to the competition a head start against the seasoned competitors that have been participating for years."

Once again, GEBE is asking the public to vote for their favorite lighting display for which there is a special prize: The Popular Vote. "We are encouraging the community to get involved and drive around to see the many creative displays of lights that has become our tradition. You can vote for your favorite display and one prize will be determined solely by the popular vote." A special prize will be given to the display that receives the most votes either in the online poll at or by dropping off their vote at GEBE offices. Voting closes December 31, 2008 at midnight.

Deadline for registration is December 20, 2008. Register by email at Ch*******@nv****.com or pick up a form at GEBE offices. All participants must have their display lit up from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. from December 23, 2008 to December 31, 2008. Judging will be based on creativity, traditional display, first impression, special effects and energy saving technology. Prizes will consist of: first place $1500, second place $1000 and third place $500. Popular vote prize is $500 shopping certificate at a supermarket of your choice.