Single mom wins holiday lights contest |

Single mom wins holiday lights contest

by Kurt Hildebrand

Carson City native Carrie Windle won this year’s Nevada Appeal Celebration of Lights.

The single mother of three children said it took her two months of constant effort to put up more than 5,000 lights.

While not the brightest on the list, Windle said she felt her display was distinctive.

“My favorite is this polar bear that lights up,” she said. “I don’t think mine had as many different colored lights as others on the list. But mine was unique. The way I had the lights lined up on the house was not as bright, but I think it worked very well.”

Windle is a receptionist at Platinum Salon and works during the day, so she had to put up a small number of lights at a time.

“I started the first of October,” she said. “I work and have three kids, so I don’t have a lot of time. I did it by myself and a little each day.”

Last year, Windle wanted to compete in the contest. She set up the lights with her boyfriend, but fuses kept blowing and she couldn’t keep the lights on to compete

This year she decided to try and beat the weather.

“I wanted to start before it was snowing and raining,” she said.

Early on, while working on the roof, she found herself trapped.

“I got stuck because I afraid to come down the ladder,” she said. “After an hour, I called somebody to move the trampoline close to the house, and I jumped down from the roof.”

Windle is a 1989 Carson High School graduate whose father, Bill, lives in Carson City.

Her children – Donnie Kelly, 11, Britney Kelly, 10, and David Kelley, 8 – urged her on, to a point.

“My daughter helped me a little bit,” she said. “But the kids kept telling me that’s enough.”

The children are with their father, but Windle played them the message telling her she had won the contest.

Windle will get a $200 gift certificate from Sierra Pacific Power Co.

She thanked all the Nevada Appeal readers who voted for her decorations.

Second place went to Randy and Melody Pinnell at 2863 Tangerine Drive in Carson City.