Panama’s Sixth Annual Christmas Light Contest Begins

Pictured is a house on Main Street in Panama that is decorated for Christmas. All decorated houses will be considered for the village’s Christmas Light contest, and voting goes until Dec. 17. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

PANAMA — The village of Panam’s Sixth Annual Christmas Light Contest is underway.

Voting is available online or in person at J Edwards Insurance, Panama Diner, the village post office and Family Night Pizza. Voting goes until Dec. 17. The first place winner gets $100, and the second and third both get $50. Only one vote is allowed per person, but votes are allowed to come from people who are not residents of Panama. Every decorated house in the village is considered eligible for the competition.

A discussion was held as to whether the contest will continue after this year.

“I don’t know if we need to keep doing it after this year,” Village Trustee Kim Davis said. “I guess we’ll wait and see but I hate doing things just to do them. We did it originally to engage people in a positive way and decorate, but now it’s the same participation every year.”

Mayor William Schneider said it was still a good event to hold. It was noted that, on average, there are about 15 people who participate, with the same winners each year.

“Maybe we can switch and do something different,” Village Treasurer Larissa Enlow said. “Instead of doing a Christmas lighting contest, maybe there’s something else during the year we can do.”

Schneider said maybe with the addition of in-person voting at businesses that there might be more participation, adding that he thought there might be more lights up now than last year. He also suggested maybe coming up with a theme.

“You want people to drive through the village of Panama and say, ‘Wow, this is really cool,'” Schneider said. “That’s the idea.”

It was decided to wait and see how much engagement the village gets this year.

In other news:

• Christmas in Panama was reported as going well. The village received many good comments, but four people did not show up who asked for tables at the craft show. It was suggested including an application or some sort of plan for if that happens again.

• money from the Christmas in Panama event was used to purchase items for the fire department’s new kitchen.

• Village resident Travis Higgs will be handling sidewalk plowing for the winter season for the village, following the former plower injuring his back.

• Wesleyan Street may have to be dug up and repaved next year, and the village was asked to add to the highway improvements section of the budget to make room.


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