Oceanside CA— With many Independence Day Celebrations canceled for 2020, two friends, Eileen Lohner-Turk (City of Oceanside-Ret) and Gail Stewart (City of Burbank-Ret) decided to create an event to honor patriotism in Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista. The two began a “Patriotic Celebration Decoration Contest” on Facebook with cash prizes to the winners.
“Two months ago when Covid hit, Gail and I were kind of sad that the fireworks and parade were canceled” explained Eileen. “We wanted to find something where people could participate but still stay in place. So we stole the idea of decorating your house for the 4th of July from the City of Fremont CA who stole the idea from the City of Portland who stole the idea from a city we don’t know because this is something people can do very easily. This is a military town and families can get involved with it and just paint the town red, white and blue.”
To enter the contest just decorate your house patriotically for the 4th of July holiday. Then, post a photo of your house on the contest Facebook page [Link] The photos will also be used for “pre-judging.” A $100 for cash prize for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place, and $50 for 3rd place will be given to the best houses as voted on by a committee. Everyone will receive a certificate of participation for entering. The contest is open through July 5th at midnight.
“So far we have about 20 houses entered. Our only publicity has come from Facebook and the MainStreet Oceanside newsletter” said Eileen. “My church, Oceanside Presbyterian, also got involved,” added Gail. “We wanted everybody to have something to do. You’re at home so why not decorate your home.”
Gail motivated several of her neighbors, including Mayor Peter Weiss, to get involved in decorating their homes.
“So far, we have homes entered from all across Oceanside, several in Carlsbad and Vista as well,” said Eileen. “It’s a no cost, 100% volunteer event with no political affiliation and having fun in the meantime. At a time when the country is so divided, can’t we come together for the Fourth of July, a beautiful, annual celebration.”