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Holiday festival will light up the Valley

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SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - People who like to celebrate the holidays by making their homes the most outrageously decorated house in the neighborhood can now make their claim to fame official.

The mayors of the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend want one of their citizens to have bragging rights as having the best decorated home in the Upper Snoqualmie Valley. Snoqualmie Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing will be encouraging residents of their cities to decorate their homes this year in hopes one can be named the best decorated home, a contest that will build community as well as bestow bragging rights to one of the cities.

"We are throwing down the Christmas gauntlet," Fletcher said.

The idea for the festival was the result of several meetings Hearing and Fletcher had after Hearing was elected mayor of North Bend last year. The two mayors met to see what resources they could share between their two cities. City business turned to civic involvement and the pair started to think of ways for their respective cities to not only share resources, but get involved with each other.

The holiday season has always been a very festive time of year in the Valley, with multiple community organizations putting on various events. The mayors were sad their two cities, only minutes from each other, had not done anything together in a while for the holidays. They thought of this friendly competition that will allow residents to fix up their homes as much as they want.

At the end of this month those interested in participating in the festival need to register with their respective city by submitting their name and address by Dec. 1.

The cities will then issue a map people can pick up that will lead them through the cities to look at the homes participating in the festival.

"It's a chance to get out, get in the car and maybe stop by the other city," Fletcher said.

Residents may submit their votes to the city by Dec. 10. The finalists from each city will be announced in the Valley Record in its Dec. 15 issue. The following day, a representative from the Mount Si Senior Center will judge the finalist from each city and submit their decision to the Valley Record. The winner will be announced, accompanied by a photograph, in the Dec. 22 issue of the Valley Record.

Fletcher said the contest is a bit unconventional, but it seemed a fun and fitting way to celebrate the holidays in the Valley, which is a special place for everyone, no matter what time of year it is.

"The Valley is a unique place to be," Fletcher said. "We want to try to do something a notch above the rest."

Editor Ben Cape can be reached at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at ben.cape@valleyrecord.com.

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