We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for entrants below.
Still have questions? Contact us via [email protected] or (07) 3810 6085.


How does the judging process work?

All entries are reviewed by a selection panel and a preliminary list of finalists is determined.  This preliminary list of finalists is invited to the Winners Announcement and special preview of Christmas Wonderland on 10 December.  The preliminary list of finalists then goes through an additional selection process to determine the homes/businesses to be visited by the judging team on 2nd December.  Those who make it to the judging process are then deemed to be official finalists and are acknowledged on the lights locations map.  Winners are announced to the public on Friday 11 December following the Christmas Lights Winners Announcement the night before.


How do I enter the Christmas Lights Competition?

Entry into the competition is now closed.  A full list of displays can be found here.

Is there any cost involved to enter the Christmas Lights Competition?

There is no cost to enter the Christmas Lights Competition. Entrants are responsible for all costs associated with their display.

How many categories can I enter into as part of the Christmas Lights Competition?

Entrants can enter into one of the following categories, Best Residential, Best Business, New Entry or Sustainable.  Streets with four or more participating homes or businesses can also enter the Best Street.  All entrants will be automatically entered into the People’s Choice.

Who will be judging my display?

The judging is conducted by local celebrities and partners of the competition.  The group will travel around the region on the nights of 2 December to visit displays shortlisted as finalists.

How will Ipswich City Council assist and support Christmas Lights Entrants?

Council has produced a ‘tips and tricks’ information sheet for entrants with lighting design advice from the Christmas Wonderland designer  and safety tips from Energex. In addition, Council has outlined below a number of key considerations to ensure entrants present a COVID Safe display.  Council will also promote the safe viewing of the Christmas Lights Competition entries through the Christmas in Ipswich marketing campaign and the Ipswich Festivals social media channels and website.  

When do I need to have my display on and visible for judging?

Lights must be switched on each night from 1 – 31 December.  Judging of your external display will be conducted on 2 December between 7.00 – 9.30pm.

What is the criteria for a ‘New Entry’ in the Christmas Lights Competition?

The criteria for a new entry is this must be the first time you have entered your home or business in the competition.

What is the criteria for a ‘Best Street’ in the Christmas Lights Competition?

Four or more homes, businesses or organisations from the same street are required to participate and enter the competition to be eligible for the Best Street.  All individually displays must register individually and provide the main contact for their street as part of the entry process.

What is the ‘Listing Only’ Christmas Lights Competition category?

Members of the community who do not wish to be part of the competition (or Ipswich City Council employees) but still want to encourage the community to visit their display can submit a ‘listing only’ entry for public viewing.  Listing only entries will not be judged, and are not eligible to win a prize in the competition (including but not limited to the People’s Choice Award). 

How will I know if I am a finalist?

Preliminary finalists and finalists will be invited to the Winner’s Announcement on Thursday 10 December.

How do I find out who the winners of the Christmas Lights Competition are?

Winners of the Christmas Lights Competition will be announced publically on Friday 11 December here.


Where are my contact details shared/stored?

Your display address and business details (if applicable) are displayed publically for viewing of your lights display.  All other contact details are handled as per the Council Personal Information Digest which can be found HERE.

How many and what size photo’s do I need to submit my entry?

Please upload a minimum of two (2) and maximum of five (5) photos of your lights display, ensuring they are a minimum of 1MB and a maximum of 10MB each. Don’t forget to upload the very best photos of your display as these will be shared publicly and used for People’s Choice voting. Make sure you upload your favourite photo first as this will appear as your listing photo in the People’s Choice Award gallery.

The photographs I have taken to submit with my entry don’t capture the impact of my display, what should I do?

To ensure your photo/s are of the highest quality (as they are used for the People’s Choice voting and preliminary judging) try using the tips below:

  1. Start photographing your lights around dusk – this is the best time of day to get the perfect shot of your lights display.
  2. Act fast – light changes so quickly between sunset and nightfall, each minute will bring slightly different lighting conditions.
  3. Forget the flash.
  4. Fill your frame – fill it with everything you are trying to capture.
  5. If using an IPhone try using burst mode, this will take a number of shots each time and you can go back later and select the best ones.
Do I need to display anything to identify I am a part of the Christmas Lights Competition?

Yes, all entrants must display the official Christmas Lights Corflute Sign in a prominent well-lit position during the competition period.  We also encourage you to attach a ‘Be a good Elf’ COVID Safe sign to your letterbox to reinforce the need for social distancing by the public that view your display.  The COVID Safe sign can be downloaded here. Corflute Signs are to be collected from Saturday 14 November to Wednesday 2 December via the following locations and collections times:

*Please note: ‘Listing Only’ entrants are not required to display a sign.

How do I remove my Christmas Lights Competition entry if I change my mind?

If you would like to remove your Christmas Lights Competition entry please contact us via [email protected] or  (07) 3810 6085.


How does the ‘People’s Choice’ voting work?

All entrants (except ‘Listing Only’) will automatically be entered into the ‘People’s Choice’ competition.  During the voting period (3 – 7 December) members of the public can submit one online vote for their favourite display.

When and where does the People’s Choice Award Voting take place?

The People’s Choice Voting takes place from 9am Thursday 4 December – 9am Monday 7 December.  Voting in the People’s Choice has now closed.

How is the winner of the People’s Choice Award selected?

The winner of the People’s Choice category will be determined according to which entry receives the most votes lodged on-line during the voting period which commences at 9am Thursday 3 December 2020 and closes at 9am Monday 7 December 2020.

Can I vote for my own display in the People’s Choice Award?

Yes, voting is limited to one per person.

How many votes can I submit to support my favourite display?

Voting is limited to one per person.

When I try to vote from my workplace, I receive the message ‘already voted’ but I haven’t already voted, what can I do?

Simply try from home or your mobile device.



As an entrant in the Christmas Lights Competition, am I responsible for enforcing any Covid-19 restrictions?

Entrants will be responsible for ensuring that their entry complies with any restrictions and directions issued by the Federal or State Government in relation to Covid-19 including monitoring and encouraging social distancing at their premises. The latest government restriction and directions can be found HERE.

What additional measures can I put in place to protect my family and the public visiting my lighting display during COVID-19?

With Covid-19 Federal and State Government restrictions and directions anticipated to remain in place over Christmas, you must plan for a COVID Safe display this year.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Consider restricting all access to your property including your driveway.
  • Consider how your display looks from the road, ensure all the elements are visible so visitors can remain in their car whilst still enjoying your suburban wonderland.
  • Consider spreading out scenes of your display so visitors on the footpath can safely distance whilst viewing the elements of your display
  • Download the ‘Be a good Elf’ COVID Safe sign here and attach to your letterbox


I’m concerned about the electrical safety of my display, where can I find further information and assistance?

Our Christmas Lights Competition Safety Partner Energex have provided electrical safety tips to assist participants in reducing the risks associated with displaying Christmas lights. Watch their safety video HERE and read tips HERE.


What is a sustainable display and what are some simple ways I can make my display more sustainable?

Sustainability is about meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This year displays with a sustainability focus can enter the Sustainable category in the Christmas Lights Competition.  Ways in which you can add elements of sustainability to your display are:  Source solar/led lighting where possible.  Look at ways of recycling old props, garden furniture, ornaments and repurposing household items. Read more design tips and tricks HERE.

I’m a new entrant this year, I don’t know where to start, are you able to assist?

Yes, our Christmas Wonderland creative designer has prepared some fantastic tips and tricks to help you not only design your display, but also to put it together safely.  Christmas Lights Competition Safety Partner Energex have also prepared some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when it comes to electrical safety.  These can be viewed HERE.



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