0

Tourism officials issue holiday challenge to Jonesboro businesses

Special photo Statues at the old train depot in Jonesboro have been dolled up with garland for the holidays. The Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau is challenging downtown Jonesboro businesses to see who can come up with the most festive holiday display. 

Special photo Statues at the old train depot in Jonesboro have been dolled up with garland for the holidays. The Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau is challenging downtown Jonesboro businesses to see who can come up with the most festive holiday display. 

The Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau is not exactly asking business owners in Jonesboro’s downtown area to turn twigs, berries, leaves and pine cones into holiday wreaths and garlands, but they do hope shop owners will channel “their inner Martha Stewart.”

The business leaders do not have to weave their own thread, to make a festive holiday tablecloth, or show off their mad candle-making skills, either. They do not even have to make little desktop, Swedish-style houses from handmade gingerbread, with caramel holding them together, and confectioners’ sugar on top (to give the appearance of snow on the roof).

They just have to make their businesses look more “festive” than their neighbors — although some suggestions from Martha Stewart’s web site probably would not hurt in those endeavors.

“What we’re doing is, we’re issuing a challenge to downtown Jonesboro businesses to see who can go all out in decorating their business fronts, in celebration of the holidays, and — in a way — put the town in a really festive mood,” said Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Spokesperson Rebekah Cline.

The holiday decorating contest was inspired, the tourism bureau’s spokesperson said, in part by the recent plight of Jonesboro’s crepe myrtle trees. Several of the trees, on the city’s Main Street, had to be cut down this year — because of safety concerns — at the insistence of rail road company, Norfolk Southern Corporation. The company owns the rail line that cuts through the heart of the town.

Then, there were doubts that the remaining trees would be lit for Christmas, because of a lack of a power source. The city was ultimately work something out to get some of the trees lit for the holidays.

“With all of the talk about the crepe myrtle trees, we wanted to show that there is still some holiday spirit left in Jonesboro,” Cline said.

The winner of the decoration contest, open only to businesses located in Jonesboro’s Historic Downtown district, will earn the title of “Most Festive Business.” Cline explained that businesses will be judged based on how festive they can make their front doors and windows this holiday season. The entries will be judged by volunteers brought in from outside the city, she added.

The businesses will have the remainder of this week, and next week, to come up with their holiday displays. They only have to take pictures of their businesses, and upload the images onto the Clayton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s Facebook page –– www.facebook.com/VisitClaytonCountyGA –– to enter the contest, according to Cline. She said the bureau is hoping to get at least five entries.

The bureau spokesperson explained that business owners also must “Like” the bureau’s Facebook page to be able to enter the contest. She said the winning business, which will receive a $50 gift certificate to Arts Clayton’s Mistletoe Market, will be announced on Dec.19.

For now, however, it remains to be seen who will do Martha Stewart proud with their holiday displays.