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The North Tonawanda's mayor's office and the city Department of Youth, Recreation and Parks announced that entries are being accepted for the city's annual Christmas lighting contest.

The yearly program is conducted to promote community pride. The contest is opened to any residents of the city who decorate their homes or businesses for the holiday season.

Entries are accepted for five different categories: most original, overall holiday, decorated door/window, decorated business, and decorated lawn. A sixth category is the Mayor's Award which is at the discretion of the judges.

Judging will be conducted Dec. 8, beginning at 6 p.m., by a panel of local judges. All entrants should turn their lights at 6 p.m. and keep them until 9 p.m. on that evening.

Cash prizes will be presented to the winner in each category at the Dec. 15 Common Council meeting. A $25 first place award for each category has been donated by local businesses.

The entry deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. Entry forms are available at the mayor's office in City Hall or the office of the Department Youth, Recreation and Parks at the Col. Payne Community Center, 460 Wheatfield St.

Also Mayor Ronald R. Dawson announced that the city's other major Christmas attraction, Storybook Park will open for public viewing at 6 p.m. next Monday.

Storybook Park is located at the city's Botanical Gardens and Greenhouse on Sweeney Street.

Alderman Scott Kiedrowski, chairman of the Common Council Recreation and Parks Committee will open the park for the holiday season when he switches on the lights at 6 p.m. next Monday.

The opening night's activities will include carolling by the Ghostlight Theatre Company, joined by Santa and Mrs. Clause.

Storybook Park will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through December 23.

The outside lights at the Botanical Gardens will be displayed nightly through Dec. 31.

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