Town Hands out 'Brightest Beacon' Prizes

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Town Hands out 'Brightest Beacon' Prizes

Chesapeake Beach, MD - 12/23/2012

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By Marty Madden

Cannoncade Court residents accept their
Cannoncade Court residents accept their "Brightest Beacon on the Bay" award

 According to town special events coordinator Connie O’Dell, the annual Brightest Beacon on the Bay contest in Chesapeake Beach is evidence of “how much Christmas love there is in the community.”

For the 23rd year in a row, the town presented prizes to home and business owners whose holiday season decorations were deemed tops in the bayside municipality. The winners were announced Thursday, Dec. 20 prior to that evening’s town council meeting.

The categories are business, townhouse, house and boat. A grand prize—a best of show—is also awarded to the entry judged “Brightest Beacon on the Bay.”

In year’s past, boat owners have failed to participate. However, O’Dell said she and other judges found one vessel, Last One, moored at the Rod ‘N’ Reel Marina, decorated with Christmas lights. Although the boat’s owner, Joe Herbert, had not entered the competition, O’Dell and others convinced him to submit a form. The boat won the contest’s “Harbor Spirit Award.”

The winners were:

Business - Trader’s Seafood, Steak and Ale; first place;

Chesapeake Beach Care Drug, second place

Townhouse - Sandberg residence, Richfield Station subdivision, first place;

Zlotorzynski residence, Bayview Hills subdivision, second


Cronk residence; Chesapeake Station subdivision, third place

House - Leon residence, Richfield Station, first place;

Perfitt residence, Cox Road, second place;

Szeszulski residence, Chesapeake Village subdivision, third place.

In a somewhat unprecedented development, the residents of Cannoncade Court in Chesapeake Village were presented with the Brightest Beacon on the Bay award. The neighbors decorated their street with a holiday luminaria (lighted candle display). “The spirit of the community speaks for itself,” said O’Dell. “We are proud to honor each home in Cannoncade Court.” Mayor Bruce A. Wahl described the neighborhood’s luminaria as “breathtaking.”

Both Wahl and O’Dell made mention of two individuals who were not in attendance at the awards ceremony. One was former town councilwoman Barbara Jo Finch, known as “Mother Christmas” in Chesapeake Beach. Finch has been dealing with health issues lately. The second person was O’Dell’s predecessor as town events coordinator, Pat Carpenter, who died suddenly this past March.

O’Dell was assisted in handing out the awards by Becky Wahl.

There were also thanks extended to Mayor Wahl, the town’s Department of Public Works and local businessman Bobby Abner for the construction of a “crab pot Christmas tree.” The manmade structure will be part of the town’s holiday season light display through early January.

Contact Marty Madden at

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