On the Light Side
MARSHALL, Texas (AP) _ This is one town that takes Christmas seriously, stringing up 230 miles of lights, erecting an 8-by-10-foot gingerbread house and inviting the world to help celebrate.
The third annual Wonderland of Lights Festival twinkles with 2.5 million bulbs - 100 for every child, woman and man in town of 25,000 residents.
In addition to the oversized house of real gingerbread, attractions include a 786-square-foot Christmas card featuring the works of local artists and bearing the goodwill wishes of 12,000 signers.
Boosters hope to attract 500,000 visitors to the east Texas town this holiday season, said Patti Harris, manager of the Chamber of Commerce.
″We wanted to present the ultimate Christmas dream to our visitors,″ said Ms. Harris, adding that 150 tours already have been booked for the holiday season.
Guided tours are provided and after seeing the sights, tourists are invited to listen to the ″Orchestra of Angels,″ and talk with Santa Claus.
The event started with a suggestion by the Marshall News Messenger and took off with a big private donation and lots of volunteer help.
Residents like to point out that they put up more lights than Rockefeller Center in New York, with 11 miles of strands; the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., with 9 miles; or the Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, La., with 18 miles.
″There is nothing the volunteers won’t do,″ Ms. Harris said. ″Except maybe climb the courthouse dome and put lights on the top. We have to pay someone to do that.″
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Katrina’s Postmarque of Katra didn’t have to sit, heel, or even hold still to win top honors at the nation’s biggest pedigreed cat show.
The grand champion, a black male Persian, won $1,000 for its owner, Carolyn Henry of Springfield, Ill., at the Cat Fanciers’ Invitational Cat Show on Sunday.
The show, a ″Who’s Who″ of cats, featured 730 felines representing 31 breeds from 45 states, Japan and Canada. Organizers said it was the largest show for pedigreed cats in North America.
And all the contestants have to do is look pretty, said Joan Pocica, director of the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
″They can even hiss and meow and they aren’t penalized,″ Pocica said.
Another big winner was Keijik’s Ten on the Richter, a sable-colored Burmese owned by Charlene Gould of Portola Valley, Calif., which won $500 in the Premiership category for neutered cats.
Best Kitten was Sherecon’s Fold on a Minute, a silver-and-white Scottish fold owned by Mandy Hemphill, Maureen Gordon and Terry Warren of Idyllwild, Calif. That award also was worth $500. The Scottish fold breed has folded ears.
″These cats are kept in satins and velvets and laces,″ Pocica said. ″They have drapes on their cages. They’re show cats and they know it,″ she said.
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NEW YORK (AP) - A 1975 bus brought $1,900 and a 1948-vintage subway car sold for $3,000 when the Transit Authority cleaned out its closets and parking lots with an auction.
A turnstile sold for $375, even though there weren’t any tokens inside, Transit Authority spokeswoman Caren Gardner said after Sunday’s auction, which drew 1,500 people.
Also for sale were many fixed-price items.
The most popular were $10 ″roller curtains,″ the signs on the side of subway trains that identify a train and the beginning and end of the line, Gardner said.
Also popular were straphangers’ delight - stainless steel subway ″straps,″ which sold for $5 each - and neighborhood maps for the same price.
Giveaway bins contained such unidentified items as subway car parts and maintenance equipment, Gardner said.
″If you could identify it, you could have it,″ she said.
The second annual sale raised $35,000 for the agency’s general fund.