Sunny Mountain Tops Lighting Contest


Trimmed to look like a candy-laden gingerbread house, Sunny Mountain Realty in Pine took top prize for the fourth year straight in the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas lighting contest.

More than 20 businesses took part in the annual Pine-Strawberry commercial lighting contest, creating a holiday look befitting the small mountain hamlets of Pine and Strawberry.

Down the road a piece from the gingerbread house, there was a tie for second place between the 15-foot snowman at Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty in Pine and the character display at MVP Realty in Strawberry.

A tie for third place between Prudential Realty in Pine and Giuseppe's in Strawberry rounded out the prize winners.

The owners of Sunny Mountain Realty, Dianne Mitchell and Wilma Young, consider their holiday display a gift to the community, Young said.

"People come here year after year and take their Christmas pictures with their children and their grandchildren," Young said.

More than 25,000 multicolored lights, 14 roof-top candies, 22 large lollipops, half a dozen bears and a gingerbread tree were used to decorate the historic cabin on Highway 87.

"We do this to get in the spirit of Christmas," volunteer Dennis Bores said. He and four other brave men straddled the steep roof top to string lights, snow and candy.

"It is a labor of love for the community," real estate agent John Mayhall said.

Each year the creative owners get their heads together, gather their friends and come up with something new to surprise the community.

The Rim Country Chamber of Commerce canceled its Payson contest this year due to the limited interest shown by local businesses in previous years.

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