‘Tis the season for themesWORTHINGTON — It’s never too early get into the holiday spirit.
WORTHINGTON — It’s never too early get into the holiday spirit.
The Community Improvement Committee of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce is working to bring back the age-old city tradition of neighborhood holiday themes along with its annual lighting contest this festive season.
The first themed neighborhood — Candy Cane Lane —started about 20 years ago on South Shore Drive, said Alice May Duba, a longtime resident and one the pioneers of Candy Cane Lane.
“It started with Bonnie Rance, who was new in town, who wanted me to help her get this (neighborhood theme) going because they had it in their old neighborhood,” Duba said. “We sent out slips to people telling them how they could get a candy cane and paint it.”
Several neighborhoods followed suit, with themes including Gingerbread Lane and Lakehill Angels, but the tradition withered away as the community changed, said Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Darlene Macklin.
“When people move out of their neighborhoods, they either take it (decorations) with them or the neighbors don’t let the newcomers know about what their theme is,” Macklin said. ‘We want to encourage neighborhoods to get together again.”
The contest is separated into residential and business categories and will be judged on “best use of color, most original, best composition, most spectacular and best expression of Christmas.”
Homes and businesses will be judged during the second week of December. Participants are encouraged to leave their lights on throughout the week, advised Community Improvement Committee member Maria Thier.
“In previous years, a lot of homes were selected for the finals, but when judges went around, they were not lit so they were automatically out,” Thier said.
Cash prizes and partial credit on December’s utility bills will be awarded to first- through third-place residential winners. First- and second-place winners in the business category will receive $100 and $75, respectively, of their 2011 Chamber member dues and partial credit on their December utility bills.
“Some people do a really good job decorating,” Macklin said. “The competition will be fierce.”
Another upcoming holiday event will be the Holiday Parade featuring the Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band, lighted floats and “the introduction of Santa Claus for the season,” Macklin added.
The parade will be 6:30 pm. Nov. 15 on 10th Street.
For information, call the Chamber at 372–2919.