The Union County Museum, Arthur State Bank and Something Special have been recognized by the Union County Chamber for their efforts to “Light Up Main” Street.
Chamber Director Torance Inman announced Friday that the three were the winners of the chamber’s 2011 Light Up Main competition. Inman said the museum won the Service Group category, the bank the Financial Group category, and Something Special the Retail Group category. The judging is done each year during Christmas Open House by an independent panel of judges.
“Each year we want people to decorate Main Street for the holiday season,” Inman said. “As an incentive to get them to light up Main Street, the chamber provides an award for the best retail store, financial group and service group.
“We pick some independent judges who are not part of the businesses downtown or the chamber,” he said. “We always try to have at least three people on the panel. They go down Main Street during Christmas Open House and make their selections. Each winner gets a gold cup to put on display.”
In announcing the winners, Inman also announced that next year’s competition will feature a fourth category called “People’s Choice.” He said the category will give the public the opportunity to vote on which downtown business has been most successful in helping light up Main Street.
Arthur State Bank
Roger Bailey, vice president and security officer for Arthur State Bank, praised the employees who decorated the bank for their work.
“The work was done by Penny Smith, Bonnie Gibson, Sarah Fowler, Karen Crocker, Earl Hendrix, Bun Wade and Junior Vaughan,” Bailey said. “I’d just like thank these employees because they were the ones that made it happen.”
Bailey said the group put up two Christmas trees, decorated the interior and exterior of the bank, and the railing on the sidewalk running along South Pinckney Street. He said he believed this was the second or third year the bank has won the Financial Group award
The downtown branch of Arthur State Bank is located at 100 E. Main St.
Winning came as a surprise to Something Special owner Harriett Bruce and her staff.
“We were very surprised because we think there were some that deserved it more than we did, but we are always flattered that we would win,” Bruce said.
Christmas trees and the storefront were the focus of the decorating efforts of the Something Special staff.
“We have 15 trees of different sizes decorated, and we just always try to focus on our window decorations,” Bruce said. “We all pitched in and helped. I have a very good, talented staff (Donna Mayfield and Margie Ruff) working here.”
Located at 110 E. Main St., Something Special is a general gifts store with merchandise that includes pewter items, home decor, bridal registry and, at this time of year, Christmas decorations.
Union County Museum
The winning decorations at the Union County Museum were a result of a collaboration between members of the museum staff, a local florist, and members of the Union County Historical Society according to Director Ola Jean Kelly.
“It was done by Delle Bright and Celeste Cathcart of the museum staff, historical society members Genelle Alexander and Carole Ivey, and Betty Sanders of Two Sisters and More,” Kelly said. “Betty Sanders made the bow and donated it and the rest did the decorating. Union County Historical Society Director Gene Logan did the lighting.”
The Christmas decorations at the museum feature a patriotic/military motif.
“The theme is ‘Welcome Home’ and most of the decorations are red, white, and blue,” Kelly said. “By the Christmas tree in the front is a naval commander’s uniform. It was owned by Brent O’Shields who was born in Union. The Navy nurse’s uniform belonged to Betty Dent who was also from Union.”
Kelly said this was the second time the museum has won the Light Up Main Street award in its category.
The Union County Museum is located at 127 W. Main St., Union.