Merchants earn top awards

Union Democrat staff /

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."

Contact Molly Townsend at mtownsend@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4547.

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