Stars were not the only things twinkling in Payson's night sky last week as judges chose winners of the Holiday Lighting Contest.
Last Thursday and Friday nights, judges from the Town of Payson, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Public Service and the Town of Star Valley appraised 28 entries to the contest.
There were six winners, three in Payson and three in Star Valley.
The two first-place winners received $500, and the second- and third-place winners got $300 and $200 respectively.
First place in Star Valley went to Tony and Raylene Phillips at 11 Hillside Drive, and in Payson it went to 15-year-old Nicole DePugh.
The Phillips' house wasn't hard to find, it was the one underneath the 15-foot diameter peace symbol.
"Mama we love you," a tribute to Tony's mother who died in 1998, was emblazoned across the roof underneath it.
A fairyland forest, populated by sugarplums and red and white striped candy canes, was the theme, Raylene said.
"We did the same thing for the Main Street (Electric) Light Parade, but the weather was so bad that night, we decided to keep what we had built and incorporate it into our house lighting decorations," she said.
Raylene said her husband put a lot of long hours into the decorations.
"Tony started the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I didn't see him until just before bedtime every night until the judging," Raylene said.
She said they used all the electric power available to them to light the holiday display.
"Some of the prize money is going to pay for the electric bill," she joked.
The Phillips' 6-year-old son, River, helped his dad put up some of the lights.
"We upgrade some of the lights each year," Tony said. "But it's pretty much the same theme."
This is the Phillips' ninth year putting up holiday lights.
First place in Payson went to Nicole DePugh, at 608 E. Hunter Dr.
Nicole is a 15-year-old sophomore at Payson High School, and the daughter of Robert and Emily DePugh.
Sparkling in colors of red, white and green, Nicole said simplicity was the theme for her decorations.
The front windows were trimmed in red lights, with each side of the front door illuminated and white icicles hanging from the eves of the roof.
Wire-frame deer, outlined in white lights, grazed the imaginary forest in search of sweet, tasty morsels.
Nicole said she wanted to do all the work herself.
"I started working on it before Thanksgiving, and finished just before the judging," she said.
She was able to put together her holiday light display for under $100, plus lights from last year's efforts, Nicole said.
Since she did all the work on the house herself, she gets to keep all the prize money.
"I will get my driver's license next year, so I think I'm going to save the money to buy a car," Nicole said.
Nicole's parents said they are happy about her winning the contest.
"We're very proud of her efforts, she's tried so hard for a couple of years now, and we're just glad she finally won," Emily DePugh said.
Adam Haught, 902 W. Antler Circle, won second place in Payson, and Ron and Leona Bowman at 900 W. Country Lane took third place.
In Star Valley, Ron Frost, 46 Rainbow Drive, took second prize, and Scott and Joyce Popke, 215 Cedar Mill Court, won third place.
Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Manager John Stanton, Interim Town Manager Debra Galbraith, Customer Service Representative with Arizona Public Service Darlene Zacharias and a representative from the Payson Roundup, were Thursday night's judges for entries in Payson.
Vito Tedeschi, town manager for Star Valley, along with Zacharias and a representative from the Roundup did the judging in Star Valley Friday night.