Village of Marshall area residents will have the opportunity to compete in a holiday lights and decorating contest later this year. The community engagement committee voted to call the competition Light It Up Marshall at its June 6 meeting.

The kick-off and announcement for this event will be at a booth at the Marshall Area Business Association (MABA) Main St. Mania event Sept. 28, the committee members agreed. The deadline to sign up for the event will be mid-November. The competition will begin the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29 and will run through the evening of Dec. 9. Community members will have access to a listing of the participating businesses and residents and will be able to vote at various locations and events throughout the week.

The committee decided on four categories, Clark Griswold, fan favorite, best business display and most creative. Winners will be announced at the Santa at the Fire Station event early December with a Facebook live event for those unable to attend.

The committee members decided to charge a minimal registration fee. Five dollars is one option, but this will be finalized at a future meeting. “That is what I was thinking,” Village Administrator Adam Ruechel said. He also added that there can be business sponsorships or sponsor each award.

Village Trustee Andrea Andrews said that there should be rules and decorating guidelines. The committee members decided that the logistics such as rules, prizes and voting location will be decided at a future meeting. Most of the planning will take place before September, the committee members said.

“This (challenge) will get more people engaged in the village and what is going on,” Deb Frigo, school board vice president, said.

While it was decided that the competition would include people in the village, it is also open to people who register in the Town of Medina and the bordering areas.

“Anytime we can include new people to the area, it is good,” Village President John Schuepbach said.

The community engagement committee, which consists of stakeholders including community members, civic leaders and village business owners, began meeting a year ago to support each other’s agencies and businesses. The objective is to have everyone on the same page as the village continues its path towards economic development. One of the goals is to enhance existing community programs and events. They meet 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month, unless there is a holiday or other event, at rotating locations. Anyone from the community is invited to attend.

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