LIGHTS FANTASTIC: The winners of the Destin Decorating Contest are …

William Hatfield

The City of Destin is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Christmas Outdoor Decorating Contest. To read about and see the winners, click in the photo gallery ar right. Winners will be recognized by the mayor during the Jan. 6 City Council meeting. The city thanks everyone who participated in this contest and encourages more residents and businesses to decorate next year!

The Best Decorated Home winner was Bob and Janet Dudley of 612 Sea Oats Drive. They are one of the centerpieces of what has been dubbed Candy Cane Lane in Destin. Honorable mention went to Robert and Karen Lyerly, 124 Indian Bayou Dr.

The Best Decorated Business winner was theBack Porch at 1740 Scenic Highway 98. “It’s the second year we have had it up,” said Gino Chan, a manager at the Back Porch. “It’s not a tradition yet, but it’s gonna be,” he said of the nine dolphins pulling Santa and his sleigh across the snow white beach. The dolphin leading the way even has a red nose! An honorable mention went to the Fisherman’s Wharf, 210 Highway 98.

The Best Organization award went to the Indian Woods Homeowners Association. An honorable mention went to Jetty East.

The Best Overall Holiday winner was Sally Biedenharn, of 808 Mars Street. She won honorable mention last year but this year “I told myself I’m gonna go bigger, and we’ll see if I win anything, and if not I have more years ahead of me.” Biedenharn has 42 different illuminated animals, and this year the decorations are themed to look like a zoo with giraffe, pigs, reindeer, moose and more. There’s even a dog park modeled off of Destin’s and a canine Nativity scene. “I’m 53, single, and never married,” Biedenharn told The Log. “There’s only two times a year I have my inner child come out.” Both are during the holidays, when she helps provide Christmas to under privileged kids and enlists Darrin Hardwick with Paradise Lawns to decorate her house. Hardwick operates a Christmas light deployment business in the off-season. “It took him five days to get everything up,” she said. An honorable mention went to James and Nancy Murphy, 618 Sea Oats Drive. The Murphys were profiled in Wednesday’s Log in a feature about Candy Cane Lane in Destin.

The Best on the Harbor winner was AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar at 116 Highway 98 East.

Special thanks to the 2013 contest judges who donated their time. This year’s judges were: Christina West, Amber Coleman, Keanna Colbert and Andrea Ansley-Johnson.


To read about how a Destin woman wired up her house to become the face of Christmas, click here.