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Mayors office to judge Holiday Lighting Contest

BY: Kori Sciandra | November 19, 2012

NORTH TONAWANDA - The holiday season is upon us again and North Tonawanda beginning to fill with holiday cheer.

The lights and wreaths will soon be seen around the city, but what can be seen when residents drive by your home?

The mayor’s office, in conjunction with the city’s Department of Youth, Recreation and Parks is once again encouraging residents to participate in the City’s Annual Christmas Lighting Contest.

The contest is open to all residents who wish to decorate their home or business in celebration of the holiday season.

“My wife and I really enjoy judging this contest, Sue comes with us, too,” said North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt. “It’s a good to have a woman around to help make these decisions.”

Ortt and his wife, Meaghan, will be judging the contest for the third year. Although the greatly enjoy the contest, they often find it tough to choose a winner because the houses are decorated so beautifully.

“It’s great being out in the community. I get to meet the people who decorated the homes and I often learn how much time and effort they put into decorating,” said Ortt. “The hardest part is when you have three homes that are all entered into the same category, and they are each great,” said Ortt. “The amount of lights and the amount of time they put into this contest is just wonderful.”

Residents will have a chance to win a prize in six different categories. Those include: most original, overall holiday, Clark Griswold award, decorated business, decorated lawn and the mayor’s award.

Ortt added, “When I was a kid, my parents used to drive my sister and I around to look at all the lights. We would get a cup of hot chocolate and head out on a December night. Something about seeing those lights, really gets you into the Christmas spirit,” said Ortt.

“I know times are tough right now and people are worried,” said Ortt. “But, when residents participate in this lighting contest, when they decorate their homes, or help their neighbors decorate it almost creates a sense of hope in the community that the upcoming year will have a better turn out for all of us.”

Interested residents can obtain an entry form at the mayor’s office, 216 Payne Ave., or at the Department of Youth, Recreation and Parks office at 500 Wheatfield St. All entries should be mailed to 500 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda, NY, 14120.

Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.

Judging will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Participants are asked to turn on their lights at 6 p.m. and keep them on until 9 p.m. Winners will be announced at the Dec. 18 common council meeting. Those residents who won in 2011 are asked to enter a different category for the 2012 contest.

For additional information, call 695-8520.

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