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Southwest Missouri News--Branson

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Marti Attoun, Joplin area

Polar Bear Inn of Branson was named grand prize winner in the commercial display category, and Rusty Wallace of Branson was named grand prize winner in the residential display category in the Branson Area Festival of Lights holiday lighting contest.

Other commercial winners were the Jim Stafford Theatre in the whimsical display category, Emory Creek Bed & Breakfast in the traditional display category and Dixie Stampede in the contemporary display category. Other residential lighting winners were Mary Lewallen, Charlie Barker and Tom and Marci Majors. The holiday lighting contest was judged by Blossoms of Branson.

Despite vandalism to its holiday lighting display Dec. 8, Branson Area Festival of Lights reported a record-setting number of cars and buses that toured the 2-mile display, and the festival received $20,000 in donations, exceeding funds raised in 1997.

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