Sucker Garden Edges Out Cole Bay In Christmas Lighting Competition Upset

~Use of LED Technology Gives Suckergarden the Edge~

Alexander York and his teenage son, Richmer, in Suckergarden won first prize of $1500 in the GEBE Christmas Lighting Competition just barely edging out the two-time winners in Cole Bay. Julia Peterson and her family in Cole Bay won second prize of $1000 and Melda Carty in Philipsburg took third place of $500.  

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The father-son team won in the Most Popular category in the 2008 competition and came back this year with a bang. "We told them that we are coming in 2009 to win!"

The use of LED lights is what gave the Suckergarden home the edge in the competition putting it a mere two points ahead of Cole Bay. "My son, Richmer, kept insisting that we make sure we had LED lights in our display since it was one of the criteria. And when he saw the judges inspecting the LED lights, he said I told you so. Turns out that was the reason we won this year."

GEBE has been promoting the use of energy saving and LED lighting technology and that is reflected in the competition’s criteria. The houses are judged by a panel of five judges in five different categories namely creativity, traditional display, first impression, special effects and use of energy saving technology.

The Suckergarden home was also the clear winner in the Popular Vote, receiving more than 2,000 votes from the community through the online and newspaper poll where residents could vote for their favorite display.

In the new category of Best Newcomer, Hendrika Serrant Martina in the Reward area clinched the prize. Although no newcomer to lighting competitions, since they have been participating in the French Side competition for many years, this is the first time they took part in the GEBE competition.

This is the third year that GEBE has organized the Christmas Lighting Competition with the goal to spread the Christmas cheer and light up our community. In response to the rising electricity costs, GEBE is 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.

GEBE would like to congratulate the winners in the competition as well as all those that participated. The lighting displays were beautiful and many houses took the competition to an even higher level this year. The competition was very close with more than 50% of the participants within one point of each other. GEBE is looking forward to encouraging more participants for the 2010 competition as part of the company’s 50 years celebrations. GEBE. Powering a Brighter Future.