Holiday decorating contest offers gift certificate prizes

Saturday, December 22, 2001

Boughs of holly are nice, but the Southeast Missourian Web site is offering a chance to deck the halls with gift certificates this holiday season.

The first-through-fourth-prize winners in the site's new Deck the Halls home decorating contest will receive gift certificates from area merchants ranging in value from $500 to $150. Those who vote for the best Christmas decorations in the contest will be eligible to win prizes that include a one-year subscription to the Southeast Missourian.

Homeowners or business owners are invited to submit up to three photos of their house or business -- as long as the images are different -- by e-mail or one photo by mail. Electronic submissions must be gif or jpeg images.

The first photographic entries in the contest were posted on the Web site, semissourian.com, Thursday, and voting is under way. Thirty-five entries had been posted by Dec. 21. The deadline for entering is 1 p.m. Friday.

Kris Dowell, the Southeast Missourian advertising director, said many of the first photographs received for the contest were out of focus. Entries will have a better chance in the contest if the images are sharp.

Jon Rust, co-president of Rust Communications, said the contest is being offered to have some holiday fun. He is surprised more house decorations haven't been submitted.

"There are only a few days left that people can enter," he said. "Right now it's wide open."

The Southeast Missourian Web site averages 80,000 hits daily.

Voting for the online-only first round of the contest will conclude Jan. 7. Pictures of the seven finalists will be published in the newspaper Jan. 10 along with a paper ballot. Voting on the finalists will be conducted online, by mail and at the businesses of the contest sponsors. The winners will be announced in the Jan. 18 Southeast Missourian.

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