ANNOUNCED: 2018 Christmas lights competition winner
IVY St residents Geoff and Veronica Hartwig could not believe what they were hearing when South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell phoned them with some good news this week.
The couple have been decorating their house at 97 Ivy St, Kingaroy for the enjoyment of South Burnett families for over 15 years.
Cr Campbell phoned them earlier this week to advised they had been chosen as the winner of the 2018 South Burnett Christmas Lights competition.
"It was a huge shock, I think I tried to play it low key until I got off the phone," Ms Hartwig said.
The Hartwigs enjoy lighting up their house each year and did not even think of entering the Christmas lights competition until 2009.
"My mother kept saying we have to enter but it wasn't until 2009 that we did," Ms Hartwig said.
"The first year we entered we won the prize for Kingaroy."
Ms Hartwig's mother passed away on January 6 of the next year, only weeks after they won the prize.
"We probably would never have entered if not for mum," she said.
The Ivy St couple, who hand out lollipops and candy canes to the groups of kids who turn up each night to enjoy their lights display, acknowledged their family for their much-needed assistance.
"Our son worked up to four hours a day right through November," Mrs Hartwig said.
"He was a godsend to have everything up in time."
Cr Campbell said the Ivy St residents were worthy winners of the prestigious competition.
"Their house has been noticed in different years for minor prizes but they've never picked up the main prize till now," he said.
Now that they have won the main prize, the Hartwigs would be forgiven for slowing down and thinking about the overseas trip they won as part of the Christmas lights competition.
"We have no plans of slowing down," Mr Hartwig said.
"We'll still be going next year, we'll keep adding where we can."