Group Seeks Entries in Christmas Lighting Contest
Marysville’s Convention and Tourism committee wants city residents to help them “Light Up Marysville.” The group is charged with attracting tourists to the city; they decided one way to accomplish this was to host a Christmas light contest.
“We remember the days when the novelty of the decorations on Park Place and Debbie Lane attracted people to Marysville,” said Michelle Whitesell, a member of the tourism committee. “We also remember how special it was when all of the white lights were turned on in downtown Marysville. People would come to town to see the lights. We want to recreate this. To make sure that there are a lot of houses decorated for Christmas, we’re sponsoring this contest.”
To be eligible for the contest participants must live in the city limits. Throughout the month of November the group is asking people to enter the contest and to encourage their neighbors to enter, too.
“This could be a neighborhood affair,” Whitesell said. “We will do our part to bring people to town, but we need local residents to help us light up the city.”
Residents who wish to participate in the contest are asked to register at the Marshall County Visitor Center located at the corner of 10th Street and Center Street. Participants may enter in person or by phone by calling (785) 562-3101. Entries are due by December 1 so that a map can be designed listing all of the participants and their addresses. When participants enter they will be given a sign with a number to put in their yard; these numbers will help visitors during the voting process.
“When people come to town to see the lights, they will have a map so they know which houses are participating,” Whitesell said. “Plus, we want to make sure they get to all areas of the city. We want to encourage them to explore all of Marysville.”
Voting starts December 1st and concludes December 31st. Maps and voting ballots may be picked up at the Visitor Center, Marysville City Hall, local gas stations, hotels, and at the Wagon Wheel. Ballots may be turned in to the Visitor Center or to Marysville City Hall. Both locations have a drop-box that may be used after hours. On-line voting will be available by going to the Visit Marysville page on Facebook.
The house that receives the most votes will be named the overall winner and will receive a $100 Chamber of Commerce gift certificate. A winner will be announced in each of the city’s four wards and each will receive a $50 Chamber of Commerce gift certificate. The winner of the Clark Griswold Award will receive a $50 Chamber of Commerce gift certificate, too.
The Clark Griswold Award is based on the character from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, wants his family to have a “good old-fashioned family Christmas” so he goes out of his way to take care of all of the Christmas preparations – from finding the perfect Christmas tree to buying Christmas presents. To show his Christmas spirit he covers his house in 25,000 twinkle lights.
“The Clark Griswold Award will be given to the house that’s a little over the top,” Whitesell explained. “It doesn’t mean that the house is decorated in a tacky fashion, it means that the house itself could light up Marysville, and that there are more decorations than usual on one house. It adds a little fun to the contest.”
Carla Grund, Marysville’s mayor, thinks the award is a great addition to the contest; her sons watched the movie every Christmas season when they were children. “I’m encouraging everyone to participate,” Grund said. “Talk to your neighbors, too. Let’s light up Marysville.”
For more information people may contact the Marshall County Visitor Center at (785) 562-3101.