Competition in full swing as businesses decorate trees

L’ANSE — Christmas trees line the streets of the village this month, decorated by participants in the Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) decorating contest, now in its 10th year.

The DDA bought more than 40 trees for participants this year. The trees are decorated by businesses with lights and ornaments. Cards, cars, pet toys and tinsel have also been used.

“It’s always fun to see who’s doing what,” event organizer Susan Rasch said. “Everybody adds their own touch to it.”

Residents and shoppers can vote for their favorite tree by dropping money into containers each contestant keeps inside their shop.

Last year, Gamble’s Do It Best hardware store won first place, with voters depositing $746 in votes for the whole contest. This year the money will be donated to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Rasch said “Vinnie’s” usually receives the donation.

“Businesses do win prizes at the end,” Rasch said.

Prizes are awarded to the top three businesses. First place is $175, second place is $125 and third place receives $75. Plus, Rasch said, the winners also get bragging rights.

Rasch said the contest was originally held at the Waterfront Park, but the trees were getting too battered by the weather off the Keweenaw Bay, so the DDA worked with businesses to move it into the downtown area.

Auto Value of L’Anse is using its tree to promote another charitable cause it works with, the Copper Country Humane Society (CCHS). They’ve decorated their tree with a pets theme and will be collecting supplies for the CCHS on Saturday at its Christmas event. Santa Claus is expected to be there from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to take photos with pets.

Rasch collects the vote money a couple times through December, so that St. Vincent’s can have an extra boost of revenue just before Christmas for those who need it.

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