BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For 31 years, Biloxi's Christmas on the Water has been painting the black canvas of the Mississippi Sound with beautiful colors.
Saturday was Wayne Laubmeier's third Christmas on the Water, and he hoped to charm the judges with his boat-house-turned Gingerbread house.
"This year, we said we weren't going to do that, but we added a few lights and then a few more, and then it just snowballed into this," Laubmeir said. "So, yeah. You're always in it to win it."
But while his boat looks good on the water, it's the human cargo that counts more.
"It's just fun for everybody. We go out and enjoy the lights, and enjoy the camaraderie. Boaters are great people. It's great to hang out with boaters," added Laubmeir.
The event brought in nearly 40 competitors of all sizes. Some featured upgrades to the decorations to make an impression to on shore viewers.
Also among them was Matthew Hinton's 1936 wooden boat. He won best of show two years ago, and second place last year. With a patriotic flavor in 2016, Hinton agrees Christmas on the Water isn't about who wins.
"It's a family affair," Hinton said. "It's to bring family members and friends and just have a good old time."
Charlie Brenton visits often from Alaska, but it's something people from his home never gets to see.
"It's got good people around here that are on this boat and the displays," Brenton said. "They put a lot of effort into each one of these. A lot of time and effort into them, and we don't have this in Alaska."
The following winners were announced Saturday evening:
Category 1, Power Boats 40' and under:
First place, SOUTHERN MISS TWO, owner Tony Petro
Second place, un-named, owner Wayne Laubmeier
Third place, ISLAND BREEZE, owner Dehi & Ken Dunlap
Category 2, Power Boats 41'-70':
First place, THREE STRIKES, owner Danny Jalanivich, Sr.
Second place, MS DJ, owner Gene Gary
Third place, THE FRED, owner Kevin Brosh
Category 3, Power Boats 53' and over:
First place, IONUIN, owner Tom Traynor
Second place, MYSTIC, owner Matthew & Casey Hinton
Third place, FINAL FANTASY II, owner Jamie Sablich
Category 5, Commercial Boats:
First place, MIKE SEKUL, owner Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum
Second place, Keesler Dolphin II, owner Keesler Air Force Base
Third place, SKIPPER, owner Frank Becker
Santa's Best in Fleet: Southern Miss Two, owner Tony Petro