The winners of the 19th annual Lights, Sights, and Holiday Nights Holiday Decoration Contest have been announced, and the winning homes include animated displays, a mini Eiffel Tower and unique homemade pieces.

The contest is a way to recognize the dedication and effort of residents and businesses for creating festive displays that light up Santa Maria, and is judged by members of Santa Maria's Recreation and Parks Commission. Nominations are made by any Santa Maria resident who sees a display he or she enjoys and calls it in to the Recreation and Parks Department.

This year, the department received 20 nominations and judged entrants in the following categories: best decorated residence (within each of four city quadrants), best of show, neighborhood spirit, best animation, best craftsmanship and lifetime achievement award.

"This family-oriented leisure activity encourages holiday cheer in our community allowing our city to shine bright during the holiday season," director Alex Posada said of the contest. "Unity is strengthened as residents work together to decorate their homes and businesses for the entire community to enjoy."

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The winners will be honored at Tuesday's City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 110 E. Cook St.

Abby Hamblin covers city government in Santa Maria and Guadalupe for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter: @AbbyHamblin.

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