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Light Up Jessamine decorating contest underway

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as businesses and households begin to compete in Light Up Jessamine County for the most festive decor and light displays.

On Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce had 10 contestants for five categories.

“Since we’re not able to have the St. Nich Festival this year, we’re just hoping to engage our community to participate in a way that gets people out so they can go see Christmas lights and still enjoy the spirit of Christmas,” Ronda May, the chamber director, said.

Normally, the season’s celebrations include the St. Nich Christmas Festival and its parade and a Christmas tree lighting party at the courthouse, but both of those are canceled this year because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus through parties and gatherings. So the idea for Light Up Jessamine is for people to compete for the best holiday decorations, and the chamber will provide an online map so visitors can locate and drive by the contestants’ locations.

Metronet, the new internet company in town, is sponsoring the event.

The categories are White Christmas, which is for all-white lights with wreaths, bows, ribbons and other traditional decor; Griswold Christmas, for multi-colored lights, inflatables and “kind of a little bit of everything and anything,” May said; Santa’s Window Display for businesses that only have a storefront window to decorate; Holly Jolly Christmas lights for schools, churches and businesses with outside frontage; and finally the Facebook Fan Favorite, a people’s choice award where people can post pictures on the chamber’s Facebook page and get others to vote.

May said there will be first and second-place awards for all except the Facebook Fan Favorite, which will just be one award.

“We’ve had a lot of people share it and talk about it, so I really hope people will participate. If you drive around, people have already decorated. They already have their lights out,” she said, so it would be easy for them to join in.

“We can put them on the map and then we’ll go take a picture and share it on Facebook,” May said.

Entry applications must be in by Dec. 16. They will be judged Dec. 17-18 and announced on Facebook Dec. 19. Participants must fill out an application available on the chamber’s website, jessaminechamber.org, or on the Jessamine County Chamber or St. Nich Festival Facebook pages and complete a consent form.

For detailed rules about the contest and each category, visit jessaminechamber.org or the Facebook pages, call the chamber office at 859-887-4351 or email May at ronda@jessaminechamber.com.

Applications and consent forms can be dropped off at the chamber office at 116 S. Main St. or emailed to May.

As sponsor, Metronet will be giving away three months of internet to the winner of the Griswold contest and will provide a special offer to each participant.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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