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Red, white and blue on display for High Rock Lake dock decorating champs

SALISBURY — Now in its third year, the inaugural winners of the High Rock Lake Association’s Fourth of July dock competition made a comeback with a red, white and blue display.

Kris and Randy Hall’s dock was decked out in patriotic colors and some personal touches leading into the holiday weekend. The Halls won the first year, but fell short in 2020.

Kris and her sister-in-law Kimberly Hardiman were the creative minds behind the dock. Hardiman said missing the win last year meant “game on” this year to pull out every bit of red, white and blue. Despite pulling out all the stops, they were still not expecting to win.

“We were surprised,” Hardiman said. “Glad and surprised.”

The Halls have been decorating long before the competition. Christmas and Independence Day are both big occasions, and they enjoy it so much they help one of their neighbors decorate too.

Hardiman said spending time at the dock is a great way to be outside and decompress. It’s also a social outlet. Passersby who enjoy it honk and wave.

They try to never duplicate the look one year to the next. The centerpiece at the end of the dock this year is a vintage Aqua Loop boat Hardiman was given for her 10th birthday. The little vessel has been commandeered by Uncle Sam. This is the first year the dock has been decorated with lights as well.

Joyce Caron-Mercier, association board secretary, said this year saw nine entries, but more docks were decorated late. Unlike so many other events that had to be canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition did not run into any issues with gathering limits since judging was based on photo submissions.

Entries are judged on patriotism, creativity and incorporation of lake activity. Political statements are not allowed. Caron-Mercier said the Halls upped their game this year to take back the prize.

“They have been planning on decorating and mapping this out for the last two months,” she said.

Caron-Mercier pointed out lots of people live at High Rock Lake, the second-largest lake in the state, and she said this is a good opportunity for people to show they are proud of where they live.

“Especially with everything going on in the world and COVID, we’re very lucky to live in the U.S. and be on High Rock Lake, enjoying Mother Nature and the fireworks,” Kris Hall said.

The Halls will be presented with $100 gift certificates to Rock Outdoors and Lexington Barbecue as well as the boat oar trophy to commemorate the win.

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