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Chamber looking for entrants for holiday decorating contest

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MASSENA — The judges are ready to start looking at homes and businesses for the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday decorating contest.

Now, chamber officials say, they’d like to get some residents and businesses to enter.

“We sent out a press release. Nobody has signed up. We do have people who said they would judge, but we don’t have anything to judge yet,” chamber Associate Director Penny Pullmain said.

The contest is free and open to all residents and businesses in the greater Massena area. Judges are scheduled to travel around the community after 5 p.m. Dec. 10 to 13 to judge entries.

Anyone who plans to enter the contest must contact the chamber office at 769-3525 or via email at chamber@massenachamber.com and provide his name, address and phone number. The registration deadline is Dec. 6. Displays must be lit after 5 p.m. for the Dec. 10 through 13 judging.

Residential customers and local businesses will be judged separately based on originality, use of lighting design and property presentation.

There have been some changes in this year’s contest, Ms. Pullmain said. The chamber will judge the entire village as one rather than breaking it down to north and south of the Grasse River, as it has done in the past. First-, second- and third-place residential winners had been named north and south of the river, and judges had named one business winner from the village.

Ms. Pullmain said that based on the response recently, it didn’t make sense to continue splitting the village.

“We don’t get enough” entries, she said. “Why split the town up?”

Winners also had been recognized during a business after hours event. Now, they will be contacted and announced via the newspaper, radio, chamber website and Massena Chamber Connections email blast, according to chamber board President Miriam S. Catapano.

Rather than being recognized during an after-hours event, winners will receive a sign to place in their yard designating their win in the competition, Ms. Pullmain said.

“They get some recognition outside of the business after-hours,” she said, noting the winning business would also receive a sign. The signs will become the property of the winners to display as they wish, she said.

Ms. Catapano said the introduction of signs might spur more contest entries in the future because of their visibility on the lawns of the winner.

“Maybe we’ll get more people next year,” she said.

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