Staff Writer

The local chamber of commerce in Newport and Derby is holding a holiday lighting and decoration contest for businesses and homes, with prizes valued at over $300 for the winning entries.
“We encourage all businesses and homes in the area to really get in the holiday spirit and decorate your with lights, ornaments and figurines,” chamber president Bruce James said Monday. “Let’s make the Newport and Derby area a place people must come, visit and enjoy the sights of the holidays.”
The contest will start December 1st and run through Christmas, with judging done on December 14th. The winning business will receive $100 gift certificates from the Newport Daily Express, Moo 92 radio and JJ Country 94.5 for free advertising during the holidays. The winning home will get a holiday Pizza Party!
“We want businesses to enjoy a good holiday season. We know advertising works and our newspaper, along with the local radio stations, are happy to donate advertising as a way to bring customers into local stores,” Laura Carpenter publisher of the Newport Daily Express said.
The chamber says one way to attract customers to your business or just spread holiday cheer is by decorating your business with a well-designed, well-lit holiday display.  By doing so, businesses may find that Christmas displays can not only help provide benefits during the holiday season but they can also jumpstart a very happy, and prosperous, new year.
“We encourage all businesses to get involved with the community by being a part a larger holiday community display,” the chamber president says. “You may find that several businesses working together can have a huge impact on making your community feel integrated and festive.”
In addition to the economic benefits made possible by having a beautifully lit holiday display, businesses can also feel good about spreading holiday cheer when they decorate for Christmas. 
Homes wishing to be entered in the contest should make their wishes known on the chamber’s Facebook page at Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce, and post a photo of their display. Judging will take place on December 14th.
“Christmas is supposed to be a season of happiness and joy and you can feel good about spreading this joy when you light up the night sky with beautiful, twinkling Christmas lights,” James and Carpenter told downtown businesses.