Winners of 2020 Christmas Lights Festival named
The Brown family from Vaimoso and the Ese family from Auala won first place among the entries displayed by families who participated in the country’s first “Ia Oo Mai Lou Malamalama” Christmas Festival of Lights.
There were three categories in the Christmas lights competition: Family Homes, Businesses and Churches. A committee visited villages to judge the light shows from each entry.
In the category for families, there were three winners from Upolu and three winners from Savai’i.
Three winners were selected in the business category and three winners were chosen in the churches category.
Su’a Hesed Ieremia, Principal Communications and Liaison Officer for the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) announced the winners on Wednesday night in front of the government building in Apia.
He thanked participants for their lights and for “bringing light to the situation” being faced by Samoa and the world in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The families from Upolu are as follows: first place went to Leapai Richard Brown and Anna Brown from Vaimoso; second place went to Luasamotu Tusani and family from Savaia, Lefaga and third place was awarded to John Tuala and family from Malie village.
Su’a likened the Vaimoso home to Las Vegas.
Leapai, who is running for a seat in Parliament in 2021, told the Samoa Observer he and his wife are grateful for the recognition their Christmas Candyland has earned.
“We’re grateful, we’re thankful for the recognition. We didn’t do it for this type of recognition. It was just done in appreciation of Christmas. Tonight, we are elated and very thankful,” he said.
“We appreciate the support of the general public especially the support of the village and our Leapai family.”
Mrs Brown said they did not enter to win. They decorated their home to uplift spirits during Christmas.
“We weren’t doing it to win. We do it to uplift everyone’s spirits for Christmas and we are really happy though. We are happy that we had a chance to have our photo taken together,” she said. “It was great. We are very grateful.”
The winners in the family category from Savai’i went to Siomia Ese and family from Auala; second place went to Tema Laulu and family from Iva and third place went to Emma Philadelphia and family from Asau.
In the Churches category, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Lauli’i won first place.
Second place in the churches category went to the Pouesi Church in Apia.
Third place winner in the churches category is the C.C.C.S. in Iva, Savai’i.
In the businesses category, it is not clear who won first place because the live feed from S.T.A. was disconnected before the winner was announced.
Second place went to Business Systems Limited (B.S.L.) in Taufusi and third place went to Princessa Hardware and Restaurant in Motootua.
Sponsors were thanked for supporting the Christmas Lights Festival.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was thanked for decorating the field in Apia where the ceremony was held on Wednesday night.
Festival of Lights - Prize Giving
Upolu Family Home
3rd Place – John Tuala, Malie
2nd Place – Luasamotu Tusani, Savaia Lefaga
1st Place – Richard Brown, Vaimoso
Savaii Family Home
3rd Place – Emma Philadelphia Eteru, Asau
2nd Place – Tema Laulu, Iva
1st Place – Siomia Ese, Auala
3rd Place – Princessa Hardware, Hotel and Restaurant, Motootua
2nd Place – Business System Ltd, Taufusi
1st Place – Samoa Commercial Bank, Apia
3rd Place – EFKS Iva, Savaii
2nd Place – EFIS Pouesi, Apia
1st Place – EFKS Laulii