Christmas Cup At Stake: Del City Departments Vying To Become Best Holiday Decorator

It's one of the fiercest competitions in Oklahoma: the contest to see which Del City department is the best holiday decorator, and the contestants are trading jabs and not holding back (in a friendly way, of course).

Friday, December 9th 2022, 6:50 pm

By: Chris Yu


'Twas weeks before Christmas when all through Del City...

A rivalry's brewing about how lights should be hanging.

The fire department has a bright tower of red...

While police have a car pulling Santa's sled.

City Hall is also decorating in style...

With not only lights, but a gingerbread house.

Then there's the community center with its big tree...

They're all vying for votes; You have until the 19th.

It's one of the fiercest competitions in Oklahoma: The contest to see which Del City department is the best holiday decorator. And the contestants are trading jabs and not holding back (in a friendly way, of course).

The Del City Police Department, fire department, city hall and community center are all vying for votes from the public. The winner will get the coveted Christmas Cup.

"If you base it just off of decorations, I wouldn't say that it's competitive. Our decorations are by far and away better than theirs," Maj. Brad Cowden with the police department said.

The Del City Police Department's decorations include a vintage police car pulling Santa's sleigh, which has donut tires. The Grinch is in the back of the police car, and the entire display is wrapped in Christmas lights. In addition, the police department has a massive Christmas tree made up entirely of string lights.

Nearby is the Del City Fire Department, which features a tower covered in red lights. Sitting at the bottom of the tower is a vintage fire truck wrapped in lights with a mannequin Santa sitting on top of the vehicle. There are more holiday lights throughout the exterior of the building.

Fire Chief Brandon Pursell said the decorations were inspired by Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City, and the lights were installed entirely by firefighters, unlike his competition.

"The police department, they'll claim that they did it. They outsourced it. They had someone else come in and hang their lights for them," Pursell said.

Meanwhile, the Del City City Hall's decorations feature a gingerbread house theme, complete with candy canes on the outside and sweet confections on the inside.

"The lights, the trees. They've all got gingerbread decor. The cupcakes, the lollipops we have here," said Cerrina Pulver, administrative assistant for Economic Development at City Hall. "It's not just a giant tree in the middle of a field with tire donuts (like the Police Department)."

"All of our stuff is done with love. It's done by our employees," City Manager Mike Cantrell added. "We don't have outside help. We don't have professional lighting companies who moonlight on the side as firemen."

The Del City Community Center is also competing in the contest. Its lobby features a large Christmas tree in the middle and surrounded by other holiday decorations. There's an even larger tree in one of the event rooms and a tree wrapped in lights outside the building.

"If you want to vote for the people that give you the utility bills every month, fine, go ahead, vote for City Hall. People that ticket you, yeah, same thing. Or you can vote for the people here that allow you to come and have a good time," said CJ Jennings, recreation supervisor at the Del City Community Center.

Del City has a Facebook group dedicated to the decorating contest, which is in its second year. The contestants have been using the Facebook page as a battleground to trade memes that jokingly mock each other's decorations.

"The fire department tries but they just can't get there. They're desperate. I got to say, firemen - second responders," Chief Loyd Berger joked. 

The Del City Police Department won the Christmas Cup last year and is confident a repeat will happen.

"Last year, we had the car out and we decorated the old car. So (the Fire Department) copied us this year. They brought the old fire truck out," Berger said.

"It's all about jealousy. When you're up here at the top, it's easy for them to take jabs at us," Pursell said.

The City of Del City Holiday Decorating Contest will announce the winner on Monday, Dec. 19. To vote for your favorite, click on this link. 

City vehicles also feature bumper stickers with QR codes that take you to that voting page.

Alternatively, you can vote in person by heading to the ballot boxes inside City Hall, near the front entrance. Voting will end on Dec. 19.


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