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Believe in Connellsville begins its holiday decorating contest

| Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 7:27 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Believe In Connellsville has begun its second annual Holiday Decorating Contest. In 2012, DeMuth Florist was chosen first place by a group of objective judges from the area. From left are DeMuth flower artists Karey Katona, Elizabeth Trump, Shelly Ritenour, Kelly Darnell and Barb Minick, receiving a plaque from Believe in Connellsville representative Johanna Harden (right).

The second annual Believe In Connellsville Holiday Decorating Contest has begun.

Judy Keller and Sheryl Craven visited businesses on Crawford Avenue and Pittsburgh and Arch streets to hand out an information sheet and encourage participation.

“Last year participation was very good, and the town looked so bright. We hope to have many more interested businesses that will get involved with the contest this year to help boost community spirit,” Keller said.

In 2012, DeMuth Florist was awarded first place in the contest. Second place went to Donna Evans Realty. Taking third-place honors was Artworks Connellsville. Honorable mentions included Connellsville Area Community Ministries, El Canelo, Atkins Music Center and Hunter Pharmacy.

DeMuth Florist received a recognition plaque as will the first-place winner this year. The others received a certificate awarded by the Believe In Connellsville committee.

Atkins Music Center owner Denise Friel has finished decorating the Crawford Avenue window of her business. Hundreds of people can see it as they pass by or wait at the stoplight of the downtown intersection with Arch Street.

The display has sparkling white lights with poinsettias and musical instruments, including the little drummer boy's patriotic drum with “God Bless America” on it. The decor includes treasure chests, deer and a motion-activated kitty in a sleigh that moves and lights as traffic passes.

The Atkins center is fully stocked and has unique items, including gift certificates for private instruction, she said.

ArtWorks Connellsville displays creations of the nearly 100 local artisans who sell their wares in the gallery. Visitors will find hundreds of ideas for holiday giving there.

T&A House of Treasures has included holiday decor in all its window displays of furniture and collectibles. Across the street, Connellsville Area Community Ministries displays some of the many holiday items for sale in there.

Many area merchants have designed and finished their holiday decor in anticipation of the crowds of people who will be visiting Connellsville for such events as Christmas in the Park, the Somerset Trust Co. open house, the Christmas parade, the Mozart Music Club Thanksgiving Festival of Choirs and the many events of “It's a Connellsville Christmas.”

“We thank all of those who participated last year. The efforts were greatly appreciated by all who enjoyed the decorations, from East Side to West and North End to South Side,” Keller said. “People remarked that they had not seen the main streets so brightly decorated in many years. We hope the tradition will continue and will get bigger and better each holiday season.

“This year we are judging on illumination, creative use of color and theme. The theme can be the choice of the participant, and the theme would be shown throughout the display,” she added. “We know the glow from the jewel of the Yough will make the joy of the Christmas season even brighter.”

“I hope all of the downtown businesses will take part in the decorating contest,” Craven said. “It is part of Believe In Connellsville's plan to make Connellsville beautiful and to spark everyone's enthusiasm to continue to beautify our city throughout the year. Everyone who participated last year did a wonderful job, and I know some of them told me they are ready to compete again this year.”

Judging will take place on Dec. 10. Participants and anyone with questions are asked to call 724-628-3639 or 724-628-1513.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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