BY LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer – The three winners in the local Christmas Lights in Ridgecrest Facebook page contest have been announced. Founder Desiree Dickie and friends were out and about on Wednesday night and are happy to report: 1st place winner is 713 Alene Avenue, 2nd place is 925 W. Vicki Avenue, 3rd place is 1232 Rebecca Avenue. “All three winners’ lights were beautiful and put me in good spirits,” says Dickie.
Finding all of the contestants is easy once you go to the Facebook page. Dickie provides a link to google maps. Below the area map the addresses are listed. You simply click on one address, ask for directions, add your starting point and tell maps to start. When you are ready for your next destination, just click back and choose a new address.
“I just love the lights and I love how it makes you feel when you see the lights,” says Dickie. She started the page in 2013, a year after moving to Ridgecrest. Originally, it was a way for her to share her finds with her family. It was a simple page and a way to keep track of where she would like to go. It grew from there. “It was mainly just to put lights that people sent me for my family. It wasn’t even for everybody else. And then my friends started joining. And then people in Ridgecrest started joining.” During the pandemic there was even more interest so Dickie started the contest and added the map feature when folks asked for it.
Her first map was fairly rough but people are pleased with the new one. She says, “People have just been amazed by it and grateful and it works out better for them.
“You have to message me that you want to be entered because there are people out there that may not want their lights entered.” There are cash prizes that Dickie pays out of pocket; however, this year a donation was made and she was able to sweeten the pot. There is no criteria in particular that is used to judge, but Dickie favors the handmade decorations, saying that the show kit one buys to sync with a radio station are beautiful, but don’t have that old school feel that she prefers.
Dickie doesn’t seek the limelight; however, it found her. She was approached by a marketing firm who sent out press releases at no charge. Dickie thinks her contact is a college student who is working as an intern. A brief conversation with the Public Relations firm verified that they are hired to promote in California for Facebook as a way to highlight folks doing good deeds on Facebook.