Leona Bowman, who took top honors in last year's APS Christmas lighting contest, said holiday decorating has become a family tradition.
"We've always decorated," she said. "Every year it got more and more. Christmas is my holiday."
With its 17,000 lights, possibly more, the Bowmans yuletide wonderland will pose some stiff competition for this year's contestants.
APS, along with the Town of Payson, the Payson Roundup and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, are sponsoring the second annual Christmas lighting contest.
The group this year is refining its judging criteria: Fewer categories and a smaller judging area.
"The difference from this year to last year is we're only going to do first, second and third prizes," said Jan Parsons, APS area supervisor. "Last year, we had all kinds of categories."
The prize: Cash. The winner receives a $750 bounty; second place, $500; and third place, $250.
Award-winning houses, Parsons said, will have the "wow" factor. The Bowmans, who took 35 hours to decorate their home last year, created a Christmas fantasy, dripping with luminescence, which dazzled the judges.
"They had a lot of lights and a lot of interaction. The scene was very creative. We drove up to it and said, ‘Oh my gosh, is that beautiful.'"
"We want the residents who exhibit true Christmas spirit," said Tina Bruess, executive director of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Nearly 25 contestants entered last year, and Bruess expects a larger turnout this Christmas.
"We spent one whole evening driving around town doing the judging," she said. "There were a lot of people who got behind it."
The entry deadline is Dec. 13 at noon.
Pick up your entry form in Friday's edition of the Roundup or at the chamber, or download a PDF of the application using the link below.
Drop off your application at the Roundup, the Town of Payson or the chamber.
"This brings the community together for the holidays," Bruess said. "It's exciting; it'll be fun."
Download the Christmas lighting contest application