Alan Falkner wowed judges with his technologically savvy holiday lighting while La Providencia Guild’s thrift shop’s window displays were elegant with a touch of humor.
Each took first place in their respective categories in the city’s 32nd annual Holiday Decorating Contest, judged Thursday evening by the Burbank Civic Pride Committee.
The committee doesn’t judge on the amount of lights or things people put in their yards, and it’s not about grandeur, committee chairwoman Linda Silvas said.
“Each committee person has their own preference but we look for things that speak to us about the season,” she said. “We are always amazed at how many houses — and businesses — we do drive by that are decorated and don’t enter the contest.”
It was disappointing, she added, that there were only 17 entries and none in the youth category this year. The committee is trying to find ways to encourage more people to decorate their houses and businesses and to enter the contest.
“We enjoyed what we did see,” she said. “I think the two we chose capture the spirit of the holiday.”
They were honored Tuesday night by the Burbank City Council and received certificates of recognition.
This is Falkner’s second time to win first place in the residential category. Last year he received second place for his intricately designed lighting system that is synchronized with six songs viewers tune into on their car radio via a low-power FM transmitter. The address is 1316 N. Catalina St.
New this year is the RGB (red green blue) pixel star on the roof. The RGB pixel technology allows him to create different shapes and patterns in any color he wishes.
Falkner’s occupation is a field service engineer for a major lighting equipment manufacturer, but he’s been fascinated with lighting since he was a child.
DeeDee Rowlands, Donna Sagona Salant and Sandra Kelley are the creative talents behind the window displays of the La Providencia Guild’s Children’s Hospital Thrift Shop, 3301 W. Burbank Blvd. It won the commercial category.
One window shows a highboy secretary with a long scroll of Christmas wishes draped across the desktop. A Christmas tree is dazzling in white and silver trim.
“It’s very, very exciting for all of us,” said guild President Veronica Chavoor. “We cannot believe it. We are speechless, to be recognized like this. It’s wonderful to know our windows are bringing joy to others in the community.”