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Rainy River business wins lights contest

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“Mike’s Skate Sharpening and Bicycle Repair,” owned by Mike Meunier of Rainy River, garnered top honours in the Christmas lights contest sponsored by the Rainy River Future Development Corp. in conjunction with the three district Chambers of Commerce.

The contest, which focused on the business sector this year, saw “Cripes It’s A Castle (Janis Lesko) in Fort Frances take second place while “Tammi’s Flower Garden” (Tammi Shoemaker) of here came third.

Three names also were pulled from pool of people who had nominated the winning businesses. Robin Jenson of Rainy River won a $125 gift certificate redeemable at Meunier’s store, Dr. Elaine Spencer won a $75 gift certificate from “Cripes,” and Sue Fletcher earned a $50 gift certificate from “Tammi’s.”

“We had some [nominations] from everywhere,” Rebecca Spencer, community development intern with the RRFDC, said Friday, noting 14 businesses had been nominated in all.

“The businesses all did a fantastic job,” she added.

Meunier, who runs the sharpening and repair business from his home on Government Road in Rainy River, is no stranger to the annual lights contest. He took first place in the one that was for district homes last year.

Billed “Candy Cane Avenue and Lollipop Lane” at Christmas, Meunier lights up his front yard each year with a wide variety of decorations.

“People enjoy seeing this every year [but] I think this will be my last year doing it. When you get to be 74, it’s time to quit,” he chuckled.

Meanwhile, Spencer said the RRFDC is hoping to improve the lights contest next year by kicking it off in mid-November.

“Next year we’re thinking about starting up [the contest] a little before the time of the Santa Claus parade [and] hopefully we’ll get a lot more nominations and maybe some business challenges,” she noted.

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