Towns plan decorating contests
— As the holiday season gets into full swing, county towns are encouraging both residents and businesses to show their holiday spirit through a variety of decorating contests.
Check out the contests being held by county towns and how people can get involved, either by participating themselves or by voting on the winners.
CECIL COUNTY North East
Businesses on North East’s Main Street are invited to participate in the North East Chamber of Commerce Christmas tree decorating contest. Businesses that are not located on Main Street, but would like to participate, can do so by putting up a tree on the lawn behind the Santa House, said Christie McDevitt,v board member and marketing chair for the chamber.
“We want to excite them about a small town business Christmas and all of the creativity the merchants put into their designs,” she said.
The trees also serve another purpose, she noted. Currently, the town’s tree is located in North East Community Park, but people cannot see the tree after dark because the park closes. So the contest willw allow people to see multiple trees up and down Main Street, McDevitt said.
No registration is required, but trees must be visible to the judges and the public to vote,v McDevitt said. The public will have the chance to cast their vote for the categories on their ballots before or after the Cecil County Christmas Parade, which takes place on Saturday on Main Street in North East.
Winners are scheduled to be announced at the chamber’s next meeting, which is on Dec. 15. Winners will receive marketing vouchers to help promote their business.
West Street Village is also holding a Christmas tree dec- orating contest for the shops in the mall, said Elizabeth Felts, owner of West Street Village. Felts said the public can vote for their favorite tree, with the winning shop getting “bragging rights.”
In Elkton, those in residential homes have until Dec. 14 to pre-register and decorate their homes for the town’s Christmas holiday decoration contest, said Codee Watson, recreational coordinator with the town’s Parks and Recreation department.
There are three cash prizes up for grabs, with a reward of $50 for first place, $30 for second and $20 for third, Watson said.
Those who would like to participate can do so by calling the Parks and Recreation department at 410-620-7964, sending their registration form to email@example.com or mailing the form to 100 Railroad Ave. in Elkton.
Winners are slated to be announced at the next mayor and commissioners meeting on Dec. 21.
This year, Chesapeake City has added a People’s Choice Award to the town’s holiday decorating contest.
The award allows residents to vote for their favorite decorated home and the winner will be given a $150 gift card, said Tonya Lockwood, town billing clerk and receptionist.
“It’s kind of like a fan-favorite,” she said.
The judges will also choose their favorite holiday decorated house on the north and south sides, with a third prize going to a business. The winners will each receive a $150 gift card.
In addition to receiving a gift card, they will receive a “winner” sign to display in their yard. The winning business will also receive two advertisements in a local publication.
People can register by filling out the flier, which was left at each residence and business, and sending it via email to Tonya Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping it off at town hall.
Homes must be decorated by Dec. 11., when judging takes place. The winners will be announced that night.
Rising Sun will also hold a contest for the best Christmas decorations.
“We want Rising Sun to ‘shine’ during the holiday and showcase the holiday spirit in our proud little town as we welcome others and enjoy the town’s charm and businesses while driving through our communities enjoying the light displays folks have passionately provided for all to see,” Vincent Sammons, communication director for the Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce, said in an email.
The contest includes residential and commercial displays. First place, which is $100, will be awarded to one residence and to one commercial business for the “Best Christmas Decorations.” Sammons said only residential displays qualify for second place, which is $75, and third place, which is $50.
Anyone whose lights are on Dec. 16 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and is located within town limits is automatically entered in the contest, Sammons said.
Judging will occur on that day and the winners will be announced that same night, Sammons said. He said if there is inclement weather, the winners will be announced the following day.
Queen Street Boutique, located in West Street Village, is competing in the West Street Village Christmas tree contest.