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Holiday decorating contest draws three residences, one business

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MASSENA - No matter how hard they tried, Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce officials say residents weren’t responsive to this year’s holiday decorating contest.

Associate Director Penny Pullmain said that, despite news releases and paid advertisements about the contest, they only drew interest from three homes and one business.

“It used to be all we did was put a press release out. This year we put an advertisement out,” she said.

The original deadline for this year’s contest was 12 p.m. Dec. 6, with judges scheduled to view both residential and local businesses after 5 p.m. last Tuesday through Friday.

But, after that drew little interest, the deadline to enter was extended to 12 p.m. last Wednesday, with judging scheduled for after 5 p.m. yesterday through Wednesday.

That too drew little response from both individuals and businesses, according to Ms. Pullmain.

“We still need to judge the three and figure out first, second and third,” she said.

Unlike previous years, the 2013 contest treated the entire village as one entity for the home competition, rather than having residences north of the Grasse River judged separately from those south of the Grasse River. All businesses were judged in one category. Residential contestants and local businesses continue to be judged separately based on originality, use of lighting design and overall property presentation.

Ms. Pullmain said that, with so few entries, it wouldn’t have made sense to continue splitting the village in two for the contest, but chamber officials were at a loss in explaining why so few people chose to enter this year.

Board member Susan Flynn wondered if fewer people were decorating for the holiday season.

“I don’t see as many decorations this year,” she said.

Some of that, she suggested, may have been because of the early start to winter, preventing some residents from being able to put up outdoor decorations before the snow and cold blew in.

“With this bitter cold, I don’t know if it has affected it,” Ms. Flynn said.

This year’s winners, who will be announced through the newspaper, radio, chamber website and Massena Chamber Connections email blast, will receive a sign to place in their yard or storefront, designating them as the winner of the 2013 Massena Decorating Contest.

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