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Merchants compete for holiday contest

    The Sonora Chamber of Commerce, City of Sonora, Mother Lode Bank and the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau will have a Historic Downtown Sonora Best Dressed Window or Holiday Display Contest this season.
    All merchants and businesses throughout downtown Sonora can compete.
    Judging will take place between Dec. 7 and 14. Displays will be judged according to theme, spirit of the season, execution, creativity and lighting. Any ties in scoring will be determined by originality.
        The winners will be announced at the Sonora Chamber of Commerce Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, 542 W. Stockton Road.
    The grand prize winner will receive $500, while the second- and third-place winners will receive $350 and $200.
    “It is great because businesses can buy $25 worth of lights and have a chance to win $500,” said Mary Henson, Sonora Chamber of Commerce member and Mother Lode Bank employee.
    The contest is intended to encourage historic downtown Sonora businesses to embrace the spirit of the season and capture the attention of local residents and tourists.
    “This will be a fun little contest to do and I hope we do it every year,” Henson said. “We thought if the downtown businesses really decorated that families would come down to see them like they would see houses decorated for the holidays in subdivisions.”
    There will also be a special lucky holiday shopper prize awarded via a random drawing on Dec. 26. The prize, valued at $300, will include a night’s stay at a downtown hotel, two tickets to Stage 3 Theatre, dinner for two at a downtown restaurant and shopping certificates for the downtown area. These entry forms will be available at area lodges, most downtown businesses, Sonora City Hall, and the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau.
    For more information, callShirley Sarno at 743-3494.

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