MASON — For the first time in many years, the Town of Mason held a Christmas lighting contest, with three winners named this week.
A total of 18 families signed up to compete in the contest. They were judged Tuesday evening, and the winners were given cash prizes of $50 each. Named winners were Toni Givens, who resides at 182 Fourth St.; Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Hutzel, at 852 Fourth St.; and Rhonda Casto, at 236 First St.
Mayor Donna Dennis said she was pleased with the number of residents joining in the competition, and has hopes that it will be even bigger next year. She said while the town got a late start with the event, plans are already in the works for next year.
Mayor Dennis said she and the council members are considering various options in 2016 to make the contest even more fun. Instead of having judges, winners might be named through popular vote by the town’s residents. The event also might be open to everyone, instead of only those signing up to enter.
The lighting contest wasn’t the only holiday event revived by the mayor and council this year. A tree lighting ceremony was held earlier in the month, a first in several decades. The Barnitz family, owners of Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. donated the 15-foot Frazier Fir tree to the town, and patriarch Bob Barnitz threw the ceremonial switch to light the tree.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.