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Christmas contests for the books: Illumination theme announced

By Diana New The chamber of commerce has revealed this year’s plot, theme and setting for the annual Illumination Celebration as ‘A Storybook Christmas’ and encourages local participation in their holiday contests. The traditional Illumination Celebration activities in Barnesville are set for Thanksgiving eve on November 23. Local businesses are invited to decorate their store fronts for the annual Window Decorating Contest and community members are invited to decorate a gingerbread house for the Gingerbread House Contest prior to the celebration. Both contests are free to enter. Participants are encouraged to represent ‘A Storybook Christmas’ when decorating for either contest by thinking of their favorite Christmas story to use as their theme. Applications for the Window Decorating Contest should be turned into the Chamber no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, November 18. Judging for the contest will take place on Monday, November 21. Decorative windows are inviting to the community and contest participants should have fun and be creative when designing their window display. Windows will be judged on originality and display arrangement. Applications for the Gingerbread House Contest should be turned in with the gingerbread house by 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 22 for a chance to win a cash prize. First place will receive $25, second place will receive $15 and third place will receive $10. The walls, roof and other major structures must be made of gingerbread and not cookies or crackers. The contents of the gingerbread structure must be edible. Voting will take place on Wednesday, November 23 at Pastime Grill. Following voting, winners for both the Window Decorating Contest and the Gingerbread House Decorating contest will be announced at the celebration downtown. Aside from participating in one of the holiday contests for the Illumination Celebration, community members may enjoy the Community Worship Service sponsored by the Ministerial Association at the First United Methodist Church at 6: 30 p.m. Following the service community members can stroll down to Main Street at 7:30 p.m. to hear Christmas Carols, the reading of the Christmas Story, pictures with Santa and the lighting of the tree. For more information: 770-358-5884, or visit

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