Halloween Decorations Competition 2023

There’s no place like Wixams on Halloween and 2023 was no exception! The streets were filled with hundreds of people making their way around the town trick-or-treating, interacting with some of the wonderful spooky displays or simply enjoying the atmosphere. One of the judges commented how cheerful everyone was, that community spirit is a large part of what makes our town such a great place to live and Halloween here so special.

This year was the fifth Halloween Decorations Competition which we run in collaboration with the Wixams Events Group. We had 18 entries and, wow, it was harder than ever to pick a winner! The judges are asked to send in their top 3 homes in order and we award each 3, 2 or 1 points, the winner is the home with the most total points. There are so many factors we have to take into account. In particular there is a massive difference in the space people can use for their displays, some have front gardens, some have massive houses and some have driveways. This just makes it all the more difficult to try and be fair to everyone, but we think we have picked the right winner 🧛🏻

Thank Yous

As always we want to say some thank yous to everyone who has helped with this competition. Thank you Steven and Dee at Welcome Co-op for sorting out the prize hamper, Budgens/Co-op have supported all our competitions since the start and we really appreciate the donation. The hamper was wrapped up in a fab Halloween theme by Faye (check out her Etsy shop here: Etsy|SpiritedIntent). This year our winners also received a £100 gift card for John Lewis donated by the Wixams Parish Council, thank you guys. Asan probably has the toughest job of everyone, he has to visit every home in the competition to get the fantastic snaps below, thank you Asan for everything you do for Wixams (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com). The judges this year were Cecilia & the boys, Rich & Lucy, Barbara, Sheila, Adriana, Sally & James, Richard and, one of our previous competition winners, Rob. Thank you for your excellent judging skills!

This year and last we worked closely with the Events Group to put together the Halloween parties which were both a great success. Both our groups are run completely by volunteers and all profits go back into the community. We are always on the lookout for more volunteers so please use the contact form to get in touch if you’d like to help out in our future activities.

This Year’s Prize

We had a two part prize this year, a great hamper of goodies from Welcome Co-op and a £100 John Lewis gift card. We hope the winners have got stuck in already 🍬🍿🍺🍫

🥁 Our winners are…

There was only 1 point in it this year but our winners are this amazing home on Brooklands Avenue! We were really impressed by the variety of decorations, many home made including a fab man-eating wreath, how interactive it was including a snow machine and flying ghost, and how the whole family dressed up and took part in the display. They had a lot of visitors all evening who all seemed to be having a lot of fun, and that’s a large part of what makes Halloween so enjoyable.  You could tell they went to a lot of effort to put it all together and they really deserve the win. Well done!

Other Entrants

We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who entered our competition. The standards were on another level and that made the judging so much more challenging. Spiders seemed to be a popular theme this year, big and small. One display had one giant spider happily sat on his web, another had a corpse wrapped up and a trail of spiders making their way to it for their dinner, eww! As usual there were some amazing carved pumpkins out there, maybe we need a competition just for that next year 🤔 We also liked all the colourful lights and interactive elements. It seems the other home on Brooklands Avenue reigns supreme in their delight in scaring people, this time with a prisoner in a cage who gave a fright to anyone brave enough to try and reach for a sweetie.

We were really pleased to see so many homes from Willow Grove (village 2) joined in the competition this year, there seemed to be a lot more people out and about there too so it looks like the Halloween magic is spreading! 👻

Past Competitions

You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

Project Santagram

This Christmas we’ll be running a brand new project which should make a lot of kids happy as well as helping us raise some money for charity. Parents will be able to book a ‘Santagram’ which is a visit from Santa Claus, similar to a Santa’s Grotto but in your own home, and they can even provide us with a present in advance which Santa can deliver. Alternatively parents can book a phone call where Santa will call from Lapland to ask your child what they’d like for Christmas and if they have been good!

To get this project off the ground we need volunteers who can…

  • Dress up and play Santa and visit homes in person
  • Act as Santa on the phone
  • Help coordinate bookings

We’ll even be running a ‘Santa Masterclass’ so if you’ve never played Santa before but are interested there is help available.

Please note: We won’t be running a Christmas decorations competition this year.

Operation Oscar Bear

Oscar is a 3 year old from Wixams who suffered a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) event at birth. He is living with Cerebral Palsy and needs help to get an operation and intensive rehab which would change his life. You can read more about his story here:

just4children.org/operationoscarbear

All proceeds from Project Santagram will go to the Operation Oscar Bear fund.

Book Your Place

We are now taking bookings on the Wixams Events Group website: wixamsevents.uk/santagram

 

Wixams Community Garden

Gardening is a fantastic hobby which is very rewarding, creative and relaxing. As part of our efforts to bring people together, and to create opportunities for the community to get involved in projects in our town, we would like to help create a community garden in Wixams. This would be a space that can be shared between different groups so that everyone can benefit.

St Stephens Square Community Garden in Norwich
St Stephens Square Community Garden in Norwich

There have been lots of ideas discussed so far such as a wildflower patch for the bees and butterflies, a herb garden which people can use for their cooking, a hut or shelter which people can sit in and enjoy, and sections for specific groups like the Brownies, Cubs and Scouts so they can grow what they like.

Community gardens are a great way to help new people get into gardening and can also lead to more projects being initiated which benefit our community even further.

Where Would It Be?

We have liaised with Bedford Borough Council and they have agreed in principle that the patch of land next to Lakeview Village Hall could be used for the garden. This is great spot as it’s central to village 1 (Lakeview) and is already part landscaped.

Wixams Community Garden Site - Lakeview Village
Wixams Community Garden Site – Lakeview Village

What Could We Grow?

Community gardens can come in many forms. Some are wild and rustic with wildflowers, shrubs and decorations. Other gardens are more formal and have vegetable patches and instructions for people on what they can take and when.

Instructions for Visitors to the Grapes Hill Community Garden in Norwich
Instructions for Visitors to the Grapes Hill Community Garden in Norwich

For a garden in Wixams we’d like the participants to decide what they want to grow, adding to the existing plants and shrubs is a good starting point, and then more structure and things like raised bedding areas can be added progressively.

Current Progress

We have been in discussions with the Wixams Parish Council who would lead the project on behalf of the community. They’re currently liaising with Bedford Borough Council to seek approval to adopt the land and to find out the boundaries of the garden.

Spring Bulb Planting

One idea for getting this garden started off is to plant patches of tulip bulbs later this year to bring a splash of colour for next spring. In November 2019 we ran a Spring Bulb Planting event which was attended by around 80 adults and children who came along to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in the green spaces around the village hall. It was a fantastic success and if there’s enough support for this garden there might be a chance to run another similar event this year.

How to Get Involved

In collaboration with the Wixams Parish Council we held a kick-off meeting on Monday 2nd October which was attended by a few people who want to get this project off the ground. We still need more volunteers so if you’re interested in taking part please contact us.

Jumble Sale

This event is in the past

This August we’ll be running another jumble sale inside the village hall. If you’re looking for a bargain or have a load of stuff to shift here’s your chance!

Sunday 20th August 2023
1:30 – 4:00pm
Free entry for attendees
Lakeview Village Hall, Brooklands Avenue MK42 6AB

Please note due to low demand the jumble trail and car boot sale have been cancelled

Operation Oscar Bear

Oscar is a 3 year old from Wixams who suffered a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) event at birth. He is living with Cerebral Palsy and needs help to get an operation and intensive rehab which would change his life. You can read more about his story here:

just4children.org/operationoscarbear

All proceeds from the jumble sale will go to the Operation Oscar Bear fund.

Book Your Space

A table in the village hall cost £5 for jumble and £10 for craft stalls (tables are provided). Please complete the form below and we’ll contact you with bank details to ask for payment once your place is reserved.

Please note: Your personal details will be deleted after the event has finished.

Valentine’s Gift Fayre

This event has now passed

If you’re stuck looking for a gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day you’re in luck! We’ve invited some small and local businesses to come along to the village hall, they’ll be selling a wide range of handmade products and other great gift ideas. This includes jewellery, personalised gifts, cards, gift vouchers, candles, wax melts, ornaments, stationary, indoor plants and more! Entry to the event is free and we’ll even have some free refreshments on offer.

And that’s not all… all attendees will be entered into a prize draw to win a little hamper of goodies to share with a loved one! No purchase necessary, just turn up and you’ll get a ticket.

Stalls

We’ve managed to get together a great selection of local businesses offering a wide range of gifts you may want to buy for your Valentine:

Christmas Decorations Competition 2022

The judges scores are in and it’s time to announce the winners of the Wixams Christmas Decorations Competition 2022! As usual we ran our competition to try and select the best decorated home and to award the winners with a prize for their efforts. Things have been a little different this year, with the cost of living crisis in full swing (and getting worse) it seems there are fewer lights shining this winter, but even so the Wixams community have worked hard to make our town a magical place to live at Christmas time.

Thank yous

In case you’re not aware, this and all our competitions are run by volunteers who give up their time to give back to the community, and that shouldn’t go unrecognised. We’d like to express a massive thanks yet again to Welcome Co-op Wixams for donating the prize for our winners, thank you Damien and the team. The fabulous Faye took all those goodies and put them into the fun festive hampers, thank you Faye. As usual the amazing Asan battled the winter weather to take all the excellent photos for us to share with the community, he’s an absolute star! Thank you also to the judges: Barbara & Nathan from the Wixams Events Team, Richard, Cecilia & the boys, Joey, Adriana, and our new judge the lovely Deb. Finally a big thank you goes to Sheila for stepping in and helping with the prize giving at very short notice.

The Prize

We don’t take this competition too seriously but when it comes to the hamper we definitely make sure to put together a selection of goodies we think our winners will appreciate. There’s around £100 worth of items altogether between the two hampers which includes a great selection of booze, drinks, snacks, biscuits and chocolates. We hope it helps make sure our winners have an extra special Christmas 🍿🍾🥨🍻

The Winners

To run this competition we give the list of addresses to all the judges and then they have a few days to let us know their top 3 in order. We award 3 points for 1st, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd, then we total up the points from all the judges and the winner is the home with the most.

This year’s winners received more than twice as many points as the second placed homes so it clearly resonated with our judges. They were very impressed by the beautiful sleigh, presents and other ornaments, as well as the real decorated tree and colour coordinated lights. Altogether it just works and it really stood out from the crowd, well done to the winners!

Other Entrants

17 homes entered the competition this year which meant there was a big variety of ornaments, lights and other elements on display. We particularly liked the homemade Quality Street sweeties on one home. We also saw some excellent lights such as those on Homestead Way, Avocet Road and Oatlands Drive. The beautiful archway on Thistle Lane was particularly special and really took things up a notch too (they came joint 2nd). This year we noticed there were a fair number of unicorns amongst the displays, but the ultimate has to be the one on Fieldfare View which looks across majestically to his reindeer friend! 🦌🦄

Overall there were some amazing displays out there and here’s some great photos for you all to enjoy….

Past Competitions

You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

Halloween Decorations Competition 2022

Wixams is a fantastic place to be for Halloween each year and, despite the miserable weather, 2022 seemed to be busier than ever. We saw our town come alive with hundreds of little reanimated skeletons, witches, ghosts and even dinosaurs out on the hunt for sweeties and enjoying the atmosphere.

As usual we ran our Halloween Decorations Competition so that we could find the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams’ and reward them for their hard work and for helping create such a wonderful experience for our community. This year 16 homes entered the competition and we could tell some people had really taken things up a notch! Our judges saw so many weird and wonderful new ideas and it was particularly interesting to see what past competition entrants had put together. In some cases they took last year’s display and went event further with it, in other cases they did something completely new. The creativity of some displays was off the charts and the variety made things really difficult for our judges. Two of them kept asking if we could just make everyone a winner a split the hamper between all the families!

Thanks Yous

A competition like this takes a lot of work and people to plan and run; given it’s all done by volunteers we want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made this a success.

The winning prize is a massive hamper and all the goodies were very kindly donated by Welcome Co-op Wixams, thank you to Damian and the team. All those goodies were put together in a great Halloween themed two-part hamper by the fantastic Faye. The amazing photos below were taken by Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com), he covers lots of events in Wixams and elsewhere for free and in his own time. It’s a massive undertaking and it makes all the difference to have so many great shots to share with the entrants and the wider community. Last but not least are the judges: Barbara, Cecilia & the boys, Rich & Lucy, Ferial & Mike, Paula, Sheila, Adriana, Richard and Joey. Thank you all!

The Prize

As usual the prize for the winning home was a massive two-part hamper of goodies worth around £100. Both boxes were crammed with drinks, snacks, sweets and more which we’re sure our winners have got stuck into already. We make sure that around half of the budget is spent on drinks just for the adults as we know they put in so much work into their displays, sometimes planning months in advance 🍻

And the Winner is…

Three homes this year were very popular with the judges but there can only be one winner, and it was this fantastic display on Pheasant Grove! We were wowed by the sheer number of props they had created and the overall effect was something really spooky and special. Apparently it was put together on a tight budget and the props were mostly hand made from bits of old wood and bin liners. 10/10 for effort there!

There’s a big variety of houses in Wixams, particularly in size, so our judges do their best to factor this in and consider how well the displays take advantage of the space available. Our winners are lucky to have some green space in front of their home but they really took things to another level filling it with a giant spider and web, corpses, pumpkins and more. The house itself was really impressive too including silhouettes in every window. Well done and thank you for bringing something new to Halloween in Wixams 👏👏👏

Other Entrants

We want to thank all of the participants in this year’s competition for their hard work. This year really was exceptional and we saw some particularly fantastic new ideas which deserve a mention. The house on Brambling Gardens was covered in a giant spider’s web and the nest was home to the bowl of sweeties 😵‍💫 The owners of one home on Brooklands Avenue seem to take great pleasure in giving visitors a fright in return for sweets, this time a giant spider would drop on anyone brave enough to try to grab some from the bowl! We saw lots of great window scenes but the stained glass windows on Tawny Avenue really stood out. We also saw some really great carved pumpkins in a variety of styles, some lit of with colourful lights, and they all looked fab.

A special mention goes to the Stranger Things themed house on Southern Cross which was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the age range of our judges mean that they didn’t all get the references, but one judge is a big fan of the show and said the attention to detail was incredible and it captured so many different parts of the story. Well done guys, we’re sure you made a lot of people very happy 😈

Here’s some great photos from the other entrants for you to enjoy.

Past Competitions

You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

Christmas Decorations Competition 2021

This Christmas may be very different for many but the fantastic Wixams community have stood strong and don’t seem to be letting things get to them! Our judges were bowled over yet again by the beautifully decorated homes in Wixams this winter and we’re sure you’ll agree that our town looks magical under the night sky. There were 20 homes entered into our competition and, as you’ll see from the photos further down this page, there were a wide variety of great decorations and styles on display.

Thank Yous

The Wixams Community Group has a very small committee so we rely on volunteers to help us run our competitions, as well as donations for the prizes. We’d like to extend a massive thank you to Michelle and the Welcome Co-op team for their continued support and their kind donation of the hamper goodies, especially as they’ve been so busy recently with the refurbishment and rebranding! Thank you to Faye for putting it all together into the fantastic Christmassy double hamper. The second prize was donated by the Wixams Parish Council, we very much appreciate their support. And once again we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his amazing photos which we know bring joy to people, especially those who can’t make their way around our town themselves.

Finally we’d like to thank the judges who give up their time to walk around Wixams checking every single entrant: Nathan and Barbara from the Wixams Events Team, and the other judges Margaret, Diana, John, Sheila, Saqhib, Cecilia, Adriana and Richard.

The Runners-Up

Second place this year is this lovely home on Mink Meadow in Willow Grove. The bright colours really capture the cheerfulness of the Christmas season and the variety of decorations on display show the imagination of the owners. Their prize of a £50 John Lewis voucher has now been delivered and we hope they buy themselves something nice to enjoy Christmas even more!

First Prize

The winning prize for this competition was a huge two-part hamper full of goodies worth around £100. We’ve selected a ton of tasty sweet and savoury treats for the whole family to enjoy, as well as a rather large quantity of drinks for the adults 🍿🍫🍬🍪🍻🥂

And the winner is…

The winning home on Brooklands Avenue has been a firm favourite in previous years, but this time they reached new levels and they were awarded points by 8 of the 10 judges! We really loved that they included all the elements of a child’s Christmas, creating something special which we’re sure is very popular with the little residents of Wixams. They managed to cram a lot into a small space yet still produced a well planned and thoughtful display. We’ve delivered the winners their prize and we hope it brings them extra joy this Christmas. Congratulations!

 

Other Entrants

Here are some photos of the other great entrants to this year’s competition for your viewing pleasure. There are so many lovely decorations all across Wixams this year, not just of those who entered the competition, so we hope you’ll get a chance to have a walk around and appreciate the sparkling lights, colourful displays, cute models and window scenes 🎅🏻