Forget the good and the bad. Ugly is the only criteria at the annual Lynn’s Paradise Café Ugly Lamp Contest, which was held at the Kentucky State Fair on Saturday.
Out of 102 contestants, Darlene Vincent was the Grand Prize Winner this year, receiving free breakfast, lunch, or dinner once a week for a year at Lynn’s Paradise Café. Darlene entered two lamps, but her robot-inspired creation (complete with hairy legs and armpits) secured the highest honor.
“I’m so excited I can’t stop smiling!” said Darlene, who spent a total of six hours on both entries while her brother, an artist, spent nearly 40 hours constructing his Mardis-Gras-inspired submission.
“He’s a little upset with me right now,” she said.
Patty Schnatter, CIO and COO at Lynn’s Paradise Café, said this year’s competition included three categories - Born Ugly, Made Ugly and the Leg Lamp (in conjunction with Actor's Theatre of Louisville's performance of "A Christmas Story.”) The Born Ugly lamps are in their original condition, and the Made Ugly lamps are either made from scratch or embellished.
All lamps have to be in working order and moveable by a human. Political, religious or non-family friendly entries are unacceptable. The lamps are judged objectively, but “judges are all bachelors, because bachelors know ugly,” Patty added.
Though Darlene was the only Grand Prize recipient, the First Prize Winner received free breakfast, lunch, or dinner once a month for a year, two Second Prize Winners received $100 gift certificates to Lynn's Paradise Café, and two Third Prize Winners received $50 gift certificates. The winner of the Leg Lamp contest received tickets to “A Christmas Story” at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, which runs November 7-25.
Darlene, a regular patron at Lynn’s, enjoys the variety of both the menu and the people at the restaurant. Though she doesn’t have one favorite dish, she does recommend the baked mac and cheese. “It’s about 3 inches high,” she added.
Regarding entry in next year’s contest, Darlene is a definite yes. “I’m already trying to think of what to do.”