Even before the snow fell, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Council Bluffs.

Residents and businesses from across the area entered the 17th annual Holiday Lights Contest, sponsored by the Council Bluffs Optimists Club and The Daily Nonpareil.

For a closer look at the photos, click on the image in the upper-left corner of this article to enlarge. You can scroll among the winners by clicking the thumbnail image of each entry.

The 2012 edition marked the first time the contest had been done entirely online, based on reader submission and votes. With more than 500 votes cast, the contest was a great success.

Congratulations to all of the participants this year, and we hope to have an even bigger contest in 2013.

Be on the lookout for next year's event!

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