SIDNEY — The winners of the city of Sidney’s City Hall annual door decorating contest have been announced.
One of the holiday traditions at Sidney’s City Hall is the annual door decorating contest, said a city of Sidney press release. 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.
Then, prior to the last scheduled December City Council meeting, the mayor of Sidney 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.
This year, nine departments participated in the Christmas Door Decorating Contest. Mayor Mike Barhorst traveled between the service center, the transit building, the police department, the fire department and City Hall before returning to his office to tally the scores. He has announced this year’s winners.
This year’s winning door was located at the transit building. They really went all out, said the release, decorating not only the door but the wall surrounding the door. The door included a fire burning brightly in a fireplace, stockings hung on the mantle for every member of the staff, and a long list for Santa that included a list of 17 items including hand sanitizer, air ride seats and hazmat suits. More drivers was on the list more than once. The display also included a decorated Christmas tree, with twinkling lights.
The door that finished second in the scoring was the door at the receptionist’s office at City Hall. The door featured an upside down stocking that was emblazoned with the words “Oh! Oh! Oh!” and products such as rubber gloves, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and antibacterial hand wipes were tumbling out of the stocking. The theme, “Christmas 2020 – like no other” was supported by larger-than-life images of the coronavirus floating in the air. A face mask was secured to the door handle, filled with candy kisses.
“Some departments compete every year while others compete on a less regular basis,” Barhorst said. “This year’s theme was ‘Christmas Stockings’ and every door used stockings as part of their decorating scheme.”
“The department that every year, seems to wait until the last possible minute to decorate their door is information technology,” Barhorst continued. “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 earning an ‘honorable mention.’”
“In addition to one or more stockings, most of the doors had at least some reference to COVID-19,” Barhorst noted. “One of my favorites was the door at the Community Development office, which had several socks hanging from a clothes line and the words ‘2020 stink, stank, stunk’ and a much larger stocking filled with neatly wrapped presents labeled 2021. It seemed to express all our hopes that the coming year will be a much better one!”
For the first time this year, three entries received “honorable mention” awards. Those doors included the doors at the fire department, which finished in third place, the Information Technology door that finished in fourth place, and the Community Development door, that finished in fifth place.
“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 said, “and the employees enjoy participating. It is a morale booster.”
The prize money is contributed each year by the city manager, the public works director and the human resources manager.