BOYCE — O come all ye faithful, regardless of the religion you’re faithful to.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you’re welcome to participate in Boyce’s upcoming holiday decorating contest, officials want residents to know.

The contest is still in the planning stages, and details will be announced later this fall.

Former mayor Richard Kibler started the contest last year to help foster a sense of community within the town of about 600 residents.

During a recent Boyce Town Council meeting, interim Mayor Dennis Hall said a resident requested the contest’s name be changed to de-emphasize Christmas.

The official title was the Holiday Outdoor Decorating Contest. Participants were allowed to use any type of holiday decorations, including lights, blow molds, inflatables, Nativity displays, wreaths, garlands, ribbons and bows.

Hall mentioned that at least one household’s decorations had a winter theme rather than a Christmas theme.

He and council members Floyd Hudson and Zack Hudson all indicated that residents should be able to incorporate Christmas into their decorations if they desire.

“I’m very anti-political correctness,” Hall said. “We have only one season around Dec. 25. That’s Christmas.”

“I celebrate Christmas,” said Floyd Hudson. Still, “we need to somehow include other religious groups” in the contest.

He mentioned that he has seen Jewish holiday decorations incorporated into other contests.

This year, Hanukkah will be celebrated Dec. 18-26. Hanukkah is a festival in which candles are lit daily as part of reaffirming the ideals of Judaism.

Floyd Hudson emphasized he wishes people of all faiths, “Happy Holidays!”

The council directed Town Manager David Winsatt to come up with a suitable title for this year’s contest that takes into account Christmas and other winter religious observances.

Winsatt also was directed to determine appropriate amounts for contest prizes, based on town finances.

— Contact Mickey Powell at mpowell@winchesterstar.com

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