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Billion Lights of Batesville contest prizes announced

Main Street Program hopes to bring light into a dark time.

By Carrie Stambaugh

The Billion Lights of Batesville is a new Christmas decoration contest that is encouraging residents to enter by decorating their home or place of business.

The idea is to provide a COVID-friendly Christmas activity beyond just the lights in the city square, said Mamie Avery, the Batesville Main Street Director and community development director Panola Partnership.

Avery said since taking the Main Street post 18 months ago, she really wanted to focus on decorating the Batesville Square with more lights, “but with this being the year of COVID-19, I thought wouldn’t it be nice  – since we can’t do some of the things we enjoy- to encourage residents to put up their own lights so people can get in their cars and drive all around, instead of just looking at the lights on the Square.”

All residents are encouraged to decorate their homes and yards, and to contact Avery to officially enter a contest for cash and prizes. The entries will be anonymously mapped throughout town, and will be judged on creativity, use of lights, and overall Christmas Spirit.

The grand prize of the residential contest is $1000, sponsored by TVI Fiber, TVEPA and Smith Phillips Law Office. Second prize is a $100 gift certificate from Lowe’s of Batesville.

Business owners can enter the window display contest although any outside decorations qualify. All entries are eligible to win an Echo Dot donated by TVI Fiber.  The grand prize is dinner for 2 at Café Ole and a $100 gift certificate donated by LandHawk Realty.

Entries can be emailed to mamieavery@panolacounty.com, please include name, address and phone number. All projects must be complete and entered by Monday, Dec. 14. Winners will be announced Friday, Dec. 18 on Facebook Live.