SIDNEY— The city of Sidney celebrated its holiday tradition with the annual door decorating contest again this year at Sidney’s City Hall.
In an effort to help city employees get into the Christmas spirit, the various departments are invited to decorate the doors to the entrances of their respective departments.
This year, seven departments participated in the Christmas Door Decorating Contest. Mayor Mike Barhorst traveled between the service center, the Water Treatment Plant, the fire department and City Hall before returning to his office to tally the scores.
Prior to the regular December City Council meeting, the mayor spends a couple of hours judging the doors, tabulates the scores, and declares a winner. The winning department receives a cash prize, which is generally used for a departmental pizza party.
Barhorst announced this year’s winners this week.
“Some departments compete every year while others compete on a less regular basis,” Barhorst said. “This year’s theme was ‘Christmas Wreaths,’ and since one of the judging categories is special effects, I occasionally heard music as I made my rounds. The department that every year, seems to wait until the last possible minute to decorate their door is information technology. Once again this year, they decorated their door with the greatest degree of rapidity.”
Although they didn’t win this year, they finished in fourth place.
“Revenue collection won the competition in both 2015 and 2016, but slipped to fourth place in 2017 before storming back last year,” Barhorst said. “Revenue collection decorated all six of their doors, each employee taking a different door. One of the doors featured a giant snowflake made of plastic coat hangers. Another featured a wreath made of flip flops. Another, featuring Shelby County’s Bicentennial, tied for second place this year.”
Tied for second place was the door of Utilities Director William Blakely. Blakely’s door featured an Ohio State football theme, with two wreaths helping to spell O-H-I-O, a plate of “wreath” cookies, and a fireplace surrounded by presents. One wreath prominently featured Rudolf’s head with a brightly lit red nose wearing an “Ohio State” cap.
This year’s winning door was located at the Water Treatment Plant. The door included a wreath with hand-painted Christmas balls featuring the Monumental Building, City Hall, Sidney Fire Department’s Station 1, and the police department. Inside the wreath was a gold spigot, with water in the form of lights flowing into a beaker, held by a likeness of retired Utilities Director Larry Broughton, ready to be tested. Sitting on the floor was a water tower with ice skaters skating on the ice surrounding the tower.
“Once again, the employees who participated made the final selection difficult,” Barhorst said. “It seems like every year, the competition gets a little more intense. Of course, that makes the job of judging the doors even more difficult.”
“We receive a number of very positive comments from citizens who visit the buildings,” Human Resources Manager Vickie Allen noted, “and the employees enjoy participating. It is a morale booster.”
The prize money is contributed each year by the city Manager, the assistant city manager, and the human resources manager.