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Local businesses, Chamber of Commerce gear up for Christmas

Christmas ornament

WORTHINGTON -- The Christmas season won't be forgotten in Worthington this month, thanks to the efforts of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce's Retail Committee.

Several events and promotions have been coordinated this month in conjunction with the holidays, in addition to the Nov. 19 downtown Worthington parade that unofficially kicked off the holiday shopping season in the city. From contests to children's activities, the goal is to keep prospective present-purchasers in town.

"We want to encourage people to remember us locally," said Maria Thier, who chairs the Chamber's Retail Committee. "Some of our best-kept secrets are right here in town."

A "Traveling Santa" contest that began Tuesday in 14 participating Worthington businesses offers the allure of a flat screen TV as a prize.

A Santa figurine will move from business to business each day, and contest participants will need to list where Mr. Claus has been on the proper date. The person with the most correct answers will win the TV; a drawing will take place in the event of a tie.

Participating businesses in the Traveling Santa contest are: Bank of the West, Brown's Shoe Fit, Center Sports, GuidePoint Pharmacy, Johnson Jewelry, Knology, Lit'l Wizards, Panderia Mi Tierra Bakery, Perkins, Picket Fence on Main, Runnings, Schafer's Health Center, Specs and Contacts and Unicel.

Another contest that begins today is a "12 Days of Christmas" event that will feature local businesspeople singing single-day snippets of the holiday carol. New clues will be able to be heard each day on Worthington radio stations 93.5FM (the Breeze) and US104, as well as on Cable Channel 3.

The person who submits the list with the most correct names for each day will win a $200 gift certificate to local restaurants. As is the case with the Traveling Santa contest, entries should be turned into the Chamber office at 1121 Third Ave., or e-mailed to

For youths, a "Kids Day in Downtown" event has been scheduled for Dec. 12. Santa Claus will be in his house at the corner of 10th Street and Third Avenue from 1 to 3 p.m., and children ages 4 to 12 years old -- accompanied by a parent -- will have the opportunity to participate in cookie decorating at Panaderia Mi Tierra during the same two-hour period. Additionally, Santa will return to the same corner location from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 18.

Another contest-type event slated to begin Monday in Worthington is a medallion hunt, with clues to be published starting that day in the Daily Globe. Hunters will search around town for an ornament designed by Daily Globe circulation manager Denise Erwin. The person who finds the medallion will win a $500 gift basket filled with merchandise from Worthington businesses.

A Ladies Night and Mens Night will be Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, respectively, with stores open until 8 p.m. those evenings. Participating businesses are: Center Sports, Brown's Shoe Fit, Johnson Jewelry, Lit'l Wizards, Picket Fence on Main, Schafer's Health Center and The Stag.

"When holiday shopping this season, please give first consideration to our local businesses," said Darlene Macklin, executive director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. "Shopping local helps keep our businesses strong and viable."

Also, a holiday lighting contest will take place in Worthington during the week of Dec. 14. Sponsored by the Chamber's Community Improvement Committee, residences and businesses are encouraged to keep their holiday lights on during that time. People may also nominate their friends and neighbors for consideration in the contest by calling the Chamber, 372-2919. Prizes will include credits on Worthington Public Utilities bills and cash from the Daily Globe.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

(507) 376-7320