By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat
Let’Er Buck Western Wear and Uniforms, Sonora’s Favorite Kitchen Store and Mountain Storm Jujitsu have won top honors in the Historic Sonora Chamber of Commerce’s first annual Christmas window decorating contest.
The winners were honored last week at a ceremony held at the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau.
The majority of downtown merchants entered the contest, which offered more than $1,000 in prize money.
“It was fun,” said Mary Henson of the Historic Sonora Chamber. “It generated some friendly competition.”
Sonora Mayor Bill Canning, who also donated the $500 first-place prize, came up with the idea of a window decorating contest.
Let ‘Er Buck captured top honors.
Sonora’s Favorite Kitchen Store took second place and a prize of $350, donated by Ron and Kenny Grimes. Mountain Storm Jujitsu captured third place and a prize of $200, donated by Mother Lode Bank.
“These three places really went the extra mile,” Henson said. “It was a really, really tough contest. All the merchants that decorated did a great job.”
The winners also received plaques presented by the City of Sonora.
Windows were judged by Larry Cope, director of the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority; Nanci Sikes, executive director of Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau; Bryan Adcox, president of the Historic Sonora Chamber, and Henson.
Participating businesses did such a good job at decorating their windows that they attracted more customers, Henson said.
The Historic Sonora Chamber plans to continue the contest every year during the holiday season, and may add a summer event to stimulate more local business as well.
“A lot of these merchants also participated in Small Town Cheer (also organized by the Historic Chamber), giving out coffee, cider or cookies, trying to make visitors feel comfortable,” Henson said. “The more that participate, the more it makes our town unique.”