ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
The streets of Liberal will soon have a more festive look to them, and local citizens can help with that.
The Liberal Chamber of Commerce will again be hosting its Wrap-A-Lamp contest, and people can sign up and register to decorate a lamp pole through the Chamber of Commerce, and the deadline for that is Nov. 17. The lamp poles then must be fully decorated by Nov. 27. Chamber of Commerce staff will assign the poles to the people who register, and in order to do that, they need to get in touch with the Chamber office at (620) 624-3855.
“We'll have a map of all the posts and assign a lamp to those who participate,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rozelle Webb said. “Last year, we saw a lot more poles decorated than we had with our inaugural year, so we're looking forward to seeing even more poles decorated. We're wanting to decorate the poles from the railroad tracks up to 7th Street or 8th Street, or however far we can go, that really depends on how many participants we have. We'd love to have even more participation so we can see even more decorations. We're looking forward to seeing even more poles decorated, last year we had 51 poles decorated, and we'd love to see even more this year.”
Webb added the rules will remain the same as the past competitions.
“Like we’ve said the past couple years, the decorations must be Christmas-themed, we don't want any political statements or anything obscene or anything like that, we just want the poles to be decorated for Christmas,” Webb said. “And so we don't damage the poles – because they are City of Liberal property – we're not allowing people to use wire or tape to keep everything on the poles. People can use zip ties or soft string to tie things on, but I would actually recommend getting a piece of black material or bubble wrap, zip-tie that to the pole, and then glue your decorations to the black material. There also won't be any electricity available for the displays. We also ask people to make sure they secure their decorations to their pole since it can get extremely windy out here. And if it's a business that has a pole, we don't mind if they have their name as part of the decoration, because that's also a good way to advertise your business – we still want the decorations to be focused on Christmas, but we will allow you to mention your business in some way in your decoration. We'd also like the participants to keep an eye on their pole and make sure everything stays secure, because they're the one ultimately responsible for it.”
Even though the competition has not been in Liberal very long, Webb said it has already gained quite a bit of notice.
“Last year, we had so many compliments on how good downtown Liberal looked and how festive it was and overall how different the town looked by having those decorations up,” Webb said. “It added a lot of cheer and fun for the Christmas season, so I'd encourage businesses and individuals and organizations to come in and ask for a pole, because it truly does help make the holiday season even more festive. And we'd prefer people call in sooner rather than later because if there's a particular pole you want to decorate, especially if it's in front of your business, you need to let us know before someone else gets the pole. It's also a fun group activity for the businesses/entities who get a pole, it's always great seeing that teamwork. It's exceeded our expectations so far, so we're excited to see what happens this year. It adds to the Christmas atmosphere in town and overall ambience of Kansas Avenue. And we will give prizes for the winners – 1st place will get a $100 Chamber gift certificate, 2nd place will get a $50 Chamber gift certificate, and 3rd place will get a $25 Chamber gift certificate. This year, we will also have a People's Choice award, and that will be a $100 Chamber gift certificate, and people may call the Chamber of Commerce office to vote between Nov. 28 and 30 during regular business hours, and they need to call the office at (620) 624-3855 and give us their vote.”
Overall, Webb said, she is looking forward to seeing the community’s creativity shine for the holidays.
“I'm amazed at how creative people in Liberal are, and I have loved seeing what people have come up with the past couple years with this competition,” Webb said. “I'm really looking forward to doing the competition again this year and seeing what people come up with this time around.”