Named Best Residence in the Southeast Quadrant
Named Best Residence in the Southeast Quadrant: 2859 Stardust Drive.//Len Wood/Staff Len Wood

For John and Kimberly Sabedra, winning recognition in the “Lights, Sights and Holiday Nights” contest is satisfying after taking a year off.

“That’s great,” John Sabedra said about his home being named best residence in the southeast quadrant of Santa Maria. “We’ve been nominated a few times.”

Although their one-story home at 2859 Stardust Drive wasn’t decorated in 2008, the Sabedras are four-time Award of Excellence winners — 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

For this year, the family of four added thousands of new LED lights to the display that features an inflatable Santa Claus, inflatable snowman, Santa Claus Lane sign, bright candy canes and colorful garland.

The family started its holiday tradition of decorating the home for daughter Kaitlyn, 11, and the tradition has grown from there.

Her sister, Emily, is 6 years old.

Winners of the best-decorated homes and businesses in Santa Maria were announced Thursday.

The 13th annual contest is presented by the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commission and the Recreation and Parks Department.

Awards are given in such categories as most inspirational, best residence,  neighborhood spirit, best street, best use of craftsmanship, most nostalgic and best business.

For the second-consecutive year, judges presented a Lifetime of Achievement Award and honored four Best Residence Award winners by dividing the city into quadrants.

New this year is the “Go Green to Get Green” energy efficiency challenge for the best displays utilizing energy-efficient products, sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Each of four quadrant winners will receive a $500 prize.

Kirk Spry, Kathy Spry, Lisa Brunello and Susan Stafford  judged entries last week.

Orcutt and Tanglewood area winners were selected by the Santa Maria Valley Lions Club in a separate competition.

At 1324 Valley Oak Place, the fourth time was the charm for most nostalgic winners Bob and Stephanie Melena.

“I’m really excited about it,” Stephanie Melena said of the honor. 

The one-story home with many homemade gingerbread houses, candy canes and lollipops on the lawn had been recognized with an Award of Excellence the past three years.

This year, the Melenas added a gazebo for Santa Claus to hang up his outfit and boots.

Every Christmas Eve, Bob Melena dresses as Santa for nephews, nieces and five grandchildren, according to Stephanie Melena.

Decorating is a family affair for the Melenas with son Bob, 26, and daughters Raquel, 33, Bobette, 28, and Rikki, 23, involved with the decorations and thousands of lights.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” Stephanie Melena said.

Each grandchild has a 2-foot-long stocking with their name on it.

Included is a nativity scene, a 10-foot-tall Christmas tree and two smaller trees.

When the Aguinaldo family gets together for Christmas this year, it will be at the Best Decorated home in the southwest quadrant of Santa Maria.

“Kids really love to see the lights,” Romeo Aguinaldo said of nieces and nephews who come to visit 2436 Rolling Green Drive.

The family display includes handmade and hand-decorated items.

Major category winners receive a yard sign and plaque while Award of Excellence winners — an honorable mention — receive a yard sign and certificate.

Honors went out to 15 major category winners and 12 Award of Excellence winners in Santa Maria.

The winners include:

Lifetime Achievement:

917 N. Beth Court with the nearest cross street East Alvin Avenue

400 E. Orange St. (Michael B. Clayton and Associates) with the nearest cross street South Miller Street

Best Residence:

Northwest quadrant — 209 Sycamore St. with the nearest cross street North Broadway or West Taylor Street

Northeast quadrant — 1749 N. Vine St. with the nearest cross street North Broadway or East Grant Street

Southwest quadrant — 2436 Rolling Green Drive with the nearest cross street McCoy Lane

Southeast quadrant — 2859 Stardust Drive with the nearest cross street Sunrise Drive or South College Drive

Best Display Utilizing Energy-Efficient Product:

Northwest quadrant — 519 W. Taylor, Space 249 (Casa Grande Mobile Estates) with the nearest cross street North Broadway

Northeast quadrant — 1030 Cortez Drive with the nearest cross street Magellan Drive or La Salle Drive

Southwest quadrant — 2423 Wailea Court with the nearest cross street West McCoy Lane

Southeast quadrant — 330 S. Scott Drive with the nearest cross street South Bradley Road or East Cypress Street

Best Business:

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214 N. Lincoln St. (Moreno Mortuary) with the nearest cross street West Mill Street or North Broadway

Most Inspirational:

1400 E. Church St. (Marian Medical Plaza) with the nearest cross street East Main Street.

Neighborhood Spirit:

1041 De Gamma Drive with the nearest cross street Magellan Drive or La Salle Drive

La Salle Drive and De Gamma Drive neighborhood

Most Nostalgic:

1324 E. Valley Oak Place with the nearest cross street East Alvin or North Stokes Avenue

Award of Excellence:

834 Della Drive with the nearest cross street South Western Avenue and Sonya Lane

127 W. Riverside Court with the nearest cross street Preisker Lane

2040 Lassen Drive with the nearest cross street West Carmen Lane

202 N. Palisade Drive with the nearest cross street East Alvin Avenue

512 N. College Drive with the nearest cross street Armstrong Avenue

400 Pam Court with the nearest cross street Palisade Drive

519 W. Taylor, Space 249 (Casa Grande Mobile Estates) with the nearest cross street North Broadway

847 Firefox Drive with the nearest cross street South College Drive

1730 N. Miller St. with the nearest cross street Creston Street

1310 Jodi Court  with the nearest cross street Palisade Drive

1421 N. Bay Ave. with the nearest cross street East Donovan Road

December 14, 2009

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