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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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A celebration of decoration

Merry & Bright Light Trail offers prizes for best displays

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

The city of Grayson began celebrating their Hometown Holidays this past weekend, but they aren’t done yet!

If you haven’t done so, there’s still time to decorate, nominate a home, and vote in the newest addition to the holiday celebration, the Merry & Bright Light Trail Christmas decoration contest. You don’t even have to be in Grayson – participation is open to residents across the county – and you could win money just for adding your home to the list.

Though the light trail was born out of COVID restrictions, the Grayson Area Chamber plans to continue supporting it as a family-friendly holiday activity.

“The Carter County Merry & Bright Christmas Light Trail originated two years ago, inspired by the first Christmas of COVID when we were advised to stay at home and not enjoy traditional holiday gatherings,” organizer Betsy Fannin explained.

And it’s continued to grow over those two years.

“Last year, over 100 homes and businesses in Carter County participated, lighting up streets and neighborhoods with Christmas joy,” she continued.

But, they’d like even more to be involved, both viewing and decorating. To that end, they’ve made a few changes, beginning with nominations and voting.

In previous years, Fannin explained, they’ve used Facebook to post and vote on entries. This year, however, it’s being done in a different format to make viewing and voting easier. You can register and vote by visiting the Grayson Chamber of Commerce website, http://www.graysonchamber.com, and clicking on the Merry & Bright link. Or, if you want to go directly to the page, you can visit tinyurl.com/LightTrail.

“There is no cost to enter,” Fannin said. “Simply take a photo of your illuminated home or business – we offer photography tips on the site as well – and upload it to the web site.”

Once you’re ready to vote for your favorites, you register your email address and pick.

“Every day you can cast one vote per email address, and check on your progress,” Fannin said.

“Encourage others to vote each day too,” she added.

Voting will end on December 19, at 9 p.m. with the display with the most votes taking the grand prize, but there are multiple ways to win, Fannin explained.

“Every weekday, during the 5 p.m. WUGO/WGOH newscast, a random home entry will be announced,” Fannin said. Those winners will receive a $50 Carter County Shop Local e-gift certificate, which can be used at a number of local shops and vendors.

At the end of the contest, Fannin said, the homes with the most votes will also win e-gift cards “thanks to our generous partners.”

The home with the most votes will win $500 in e-gift cards, sponsored by Pure County Automotive. The second place home will receive $300, courtesy of Judy Goats Century 21 Realty. Third place, sponsored by Scenic Hills Realty, will receive a $150 e-gift card.

Local businesses in Grayson and Olive Hill accepting the e-gift cards can also be found listed on the Chamber website, including maps and a printable list of businesses with addresses and phone numbers. You can access that page directly by visiting tinyurl.com/localgift.

Fanning noted that the e-gift cards “make great Christmas gifts, and promote local business.”

They may be purchased on the website, and, she noted, “for a limited time, every time you purchase an e-gift card you will receive a bonus e-gift card up to a total of $20, thanks to the generosity of the Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Bank of Grayson, Members Choice Credit Union, and City National Banks.”

And, she added, there’s still another way to win.

“At the conclusion of the voting, the neighborhood with the most home entries will be awarded a banner declaring it to be ‘The Merriest and Brightest Neighborhood of Carter County 2022.”

The business with the most votes will also be awarded a banner to display.

It doesn’t have to be over the top to qualify either, Fannin said. They really do want everyone to participate.

“Even a simple display of Christmas lights or decorations will qualify,” she said.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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