By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
A local credit union, a daycare and other organizations now have some extra cash in their pockets, or at least some bragging rights, after winning the 2012 Downtown Christmas Parade Contest.
Hundreds of people lined the street to watch the 70-plus unit parade, which took place Friday night on Main Avenue, complete with marching bands, beauty queens, baton twirlers, dancers, cheerleaders, fancy floats, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and of course, Santa Claus.
The winners of the best entry contest are: First Place ($100): Community First Credit Union; Second Place ($75), ABC Child Care, and Third Place (Tied for $50 each) Austinburg Country Days Royalty and Wickliffe High School Devil Swing Band.
The Christmas Tree Competition in Lance Cpl. Kevin Cornelius Park continues through Dec. 24, sponsored by the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association.
Ballot boxes are set up in the following locations: Anderson Jewelers, Ashtabula Area Chamber of Commerce, Ashtabula County District Library, Ashtabula Senior Citizens Center, Bloomers Florist, B-Side Music, Bula Beauty & Fashion, E & J Glass, Furniture Towne, Howard Hanna, Tucker Select Properties, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, Red Horse Cafe, Medicine Shoppe, Michaels Furniture, S & B Floor Covering, Ultimate Appearance and Walgreens Drug Store.
Organizers remind residents to take time to vote for their favorite tree when patronizing the businesses.