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Maker’s Mark Christmas contest looks to deck the halls of one small town

Lexington WKYT logo Lexington WKYT 11/12/2020 Amber Philpott
a store front at day: Molly B's Boutique in downtown Cynthiana © Provided by Lexington WKYT Molly B's Boutique in downtown Cynthiana

Cynthiana, Ky. (WKYT) -What do Maker’s Mark bourbon and Christmas have in common?

This year it’s something special for one small town.

The iconic Kentucky bourbon distiller is giving back with its new Small Town, Bright Lights contest.

Communities across the country are competing for the chance to have Maker’s Mark come in and deck the halls for the holidays.

Here in central Kentucky, the city of Cynthiana is hoping it beats out all the rest.

In downtown Cynthiana it’s a tale of two seasons right now, a little fall and a lot of holiday cheer.

Some might say it’s too early for old Saint Nick to be out, but not in this community.

Cynthiana like a lot of other small towns is having to re-think the holidays and how to do it safely.

No one knows that more than the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Director, Tomi Jean Clifford. “It is very challenging and we kind of kicked it off Halloween when we realized that we weren’t going to be able to have things the same way we were used to, so we had to get really creative,” said Tomi Jean Clifford. One way to do that is showing off how special this small town is and hoping to win big. “So Maker’s Mark has a Small Town, Bright Lights contest that they are doing where they are going to come in and completely revamp a holiday Christmas type scene for a small town and so we want it, we want it here in Cynthiana,” said Clifford. It’s something that would mean a lot.

It would be more than just lights to a community that was thrust into the spotlight back in March when the first case of COVID-19 was announced in the community. “We were ground zero for COVID in Kentucky so to have that type of impact for Christmas, it kind of renews everybody’s spirit,” said Clifford. And that is exactly what the folks at Maker’s Mark are looking for, what they call remarkable small towns and the spirit that lives within them. “It’s a nod to that and it’s a nod to everyone that has helped Makers Mark grow and we want to do something nice for them, for at least one city,” said Thomas Bolton, Maker’s Mark Distillery Diplomat. Maker’s Mark will pour over the entries, pictures from small towns like Cynthiana with the hashtag “make it remarkable.”

The possibilities, Maker’s Mark say are endless for the winning town. “It could be you have a Main Street with a bunch of shops and we have professional window decorators come in,” said Bolton. Stakes are high, but the goal here in Cynthiana is not just winning, but showing Maker’s Mark and social media just how special this small town really is. “We just hope that they come and see our town and turn it into the Hallmark town that they see,” said Clifford.

The deadline to nominate your hometown is Friday, November 13th.

Here’s how to enter:

Log into your Twitter or Instagram account (or create a free account if you don’t have one).

Your account must be set to public/unprotected

Submit your nomination like so:

Post a photo of the remarkable town you’re nominating

Include the name of the town (City, State)

Use #MakeItRemarkable

Tag @makersmark

Tell Maker’s Mark in your post (in 280 characters or less) what makes the town such a remarkable place and share a little something the town did this year that was truly remarkable

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