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A winter wonderland ... without snow

A house on South Iowa decorates for every holiday. The decorations surround the house and yard. (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
A house on South Iowa decorates for every holiday. The decorations surround the house and yard. (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
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WASHINGTON - The holiday joy is alive in Washington with a variety of decorations lighting up the snowless winter wonderland.

Throughout town, 40 homes and 38 businesses don bright lights and shiny decorations in hopes to win two new holiday competitions.

The Washington Chamber of Commerce created the two new holiday events that have been customized for fun and safety.

The two new events are a citywide “Get Lit” outdoor holiday lighting contest and a business Window Wonderland event.

Chamber event coordinator Alisha Davis said there are a variety of different themes, and people are having fun with it.

Davis said it is says a lot about the community that people are willing to spend time and money to make it happen.

As a throwback to driving around looking at holiday lights, Get Lit is an outdoor lighting contest with 40 homes throughout town participating.

Even though it is too late for new entries, residents can still get involved.

A map and booklet are available for $10 that will point out each house. It includes coupons for 30 local business and restaurants. It can be purchased at the Chamber or participating businesses.

Residents can vote on which houses are their favorite and a winner will be announced Jan. 4.

Davis said as a child her family would drive to Wayland to look at all of the decorated houses. The Chamber wanted to bring something like this to Washington.

Businesses are also participating in the fun.

The Window Wonderland event gives Washington businesses an opportunity to decorate and compete for a prize. There are 38 businesses throughout town participating.

A map shows all of the participating businesses, and people can vote which is best decorated. The competition will take place until Jan. 4.

Davis said the events encourage the community to stay local when looking at lights and shopping.

The money raised from the events goes toward the downtown lights.