Published 4:46 pm Monday, November 12, 2018

COLUMBIA – Halloween is just over and Thanksgiving is two weeks away, but it is already time for Columbia and Tyrrell County residents and businesses to begin getting their Christmas decorations and displays ready for the annual River Town Christmas judging. Recognition will be given to residential and business locations for traditional and religious themed decorations. Judging of downtown business locations may include window as well as complete storefront decorations. The River Town Christmas planning committee is again opening up the holiday outdoor decorations contest to include areas outside the corporate limits of the Town of Columbia. “This is an effort to include more residents into the competition and broaden the scope of the River Town Christmas celebration,” according to Karen Clough, a member of the planning committee. Just as inside the town, residents and businesses may enter the decorations contest. Businesses include institutions such as churches and buildings operated by non-profit organizations. Awards will be given for first, second and third place in each category, both inside town and outside the town limits. There will also be recognition for the Best Traditional Theme and the Best Religious Theme as well as the best-decorated neighborhood or block. Every decorated home or business within the town will be judged, but due to the large area in the county, those outside town wishing to enter the competition should call 252-796-2781 or stop by the Town of Columbia Municipal Building to register. The best-decorated neighborhood award is to encourage groups of homeowners along a block or in a neighborhood to decorate for the holiday season. “We realize some folks do not want to decorate early for Christmas, but we want all of our town and community to sparkle when we usher in the season with the River Town Christmas celebration,” Clough said. “We hope to make such a good impression that people will drive to Columbia from neighboring towns and communities to see our Christmas lights.” “We have very talented and creative folks in Columbia and we expect some outstanding decorations,” Clough added. Winners will be announced at the annual Christmas tree lighting on the Tyrrell County Courthouse Grounds, Friday evening, Dec. 7. River Town Christmas is an annual project of the Greater Tyrrell County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Town of Columbia and Tyrrell County. The celebration will run Thursday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 9. The four day event will include traditional tree lightings, a bazaar of arts and crafts, carols and entertainment, holiday open house events, visits with Santa, band and chorus concerts, Christmas parade at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon and carriage rides. For information call 252-796-1996 or 252-796-2781.