Owatonna businesses are hopeful for your holiday dollar during the Christmas shopping season. Many are also seeking your vote in the Downtown Owatonna Holiday Window Contest, presented by the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) and the Owatonna Business Partnership.

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A number of businesses had their display ready for the recent OACCT holiday cruise through downtown. Karen Pehrson, the Director of Conventions and Tourism, says the contest is a continuation of switching from a holiday parade to the holiday cruise. She says having decorations and holiday cheer on display draws more people to an area. This will hopefully add up to a successful financial experience for local businesses.

Pehrson says businesses must register to be part of the promotion. Businesses do not need to be chamber members to compete. But they must register through the chamber.

The holiday window contest lasts throughout the Christmas season with the top-two voter getters being recognized New Year's Eve. The top display gets $100 in Chamber Bucks. With $75 going to second place.

She said Owatonna has been a destination for some Twin Cities shoppers this year, as they look to get out of the Metro for some daytrips. Owatonna's location on I-35 and its historic downtown have drawn these travelers.

Pehrson says there's a feeling of renewed interest in supporting small, local, independently-owned businesses and how important they are to the community.

Vote here for your favorite holiday display. These businesses have signed up to participate (as of this posting on December 11).

  • A Family First Insurance, 325 N. Cedar
  • Big Dream Organics, 216 W. Bridge
  • Central Park Coffee Co, 113 N. Cedar
  • Curly Girlz Candy, 121 W. Main
  • Health Track, 328 N. Cedar
  • Kottke Jewelers, 115 N. Cedar
  • Owatonna Heating and Cooling, Inc, 408 N. Cedar
  • Owatonna Shoe, 121 N. Cedar
  • Selective Looks, 109 N. Cedar
  • Shot in the Dark Studio, 129 W. Bridge
  • Straight River Rug Hooking, 104 W. Park
  • Wagner's Lunch, 222 N. Cedar

Take note you can only vote once from each device. Businesses can keep registering all month long, but those already on-board have a bit of a head start on the voting. Several locations that I saw with holiday displays during the cruise night have not registered yet for the contest. The QR code below should also connect you with the voting page.

Owatonna Chamber of Commerce

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Ho Ho Ho: Christmas Lights in Owatonna's Central Park