EXIRA — The annual Exira Festival of Lights will look a little different this year, but this year’s format gives families a chance to stay in their car and enjoy all the lights.

The event — hosted by the Exira Community Club — will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 5-7 p.m. Instead of cancelling the whole event, organizers changed the format to a “drive through” Festival of Lights.

Those attending should enter at the north east parking lot entrance of the Exira Event Center, 106 North Jefferson Street, and drive around to the front of the building where they can have a quick visit from Santa, right at their car. Attendees are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times. There will also be hot chocolate available for a free will donation.

Then, attendees can pick up a Christmas Decorating Contest list, and are encouraged to drive around town, see the lights, and vote on their favorites.

The Exira Community Club is also collecting new, unopened toys, clothing and non-perishable food items that night for the New Opportunities Toy Drive.

The Exira Community Club is holding the third annual Christmas Decorating Contest, and Exira residents are encouraged to get out and decorate their homes, and more.

Those who want to participate should contact the Exira Community Club by Dec. 1 in order to be listed on the voting card. There are three categories: Most Like Clark Griswold (go all out); Most Like A Hallmark Movie (elegant) and a special Kid’s Choice for kids grades fifth and under.

Voting will be done at drop boxes located at Caseys, Exira Public Library, and the Exira Post Office. Winners will be announced on Dec. 12.

A new category has been added: business owners are encouraged to decorate business windows to go along with the Christmas Decorating Contest. Again — let officials know by Dec. 1 in order to appear on the voting card, and complete your decorating by Dec. 5.

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