A Lansford community improvement organization's annual Lansford Days of Christmas promotion was a rousing success. The event, held in the downtown business district on Ridge Street, drew about 500 participants, many of whom hoped to win a portion of the $1,000 being given away by 18 local businesses.

The drawing was held Dec. 17 in front of the Panther Valley Mini Mall. The festive occasion included holiday music and commentary by Chris Opresko, owner of Cool Lights DJ Services, Lansford.

"Long time Lansford resident Joe Orsulak commented that there haven't been this many people on Ridge Street since Bright's department store had their drawing for a new car back in the 1970s," Lansford Alive member David Benevy said.

The organization gave out five prizes of $50, $100, $100, $250, and $500. The winners had to be present to win, and attendance was so good that only one ticket went unclaimed, Benevy said.

Local businessman Bob Silver welcomed participants, and, with the help of Mackenzie Weiser and Cale Haspe, drew the five winning tickets.

The event began Dec. 3 with a visit by Santa, who climbed onto the roof of the Mini Mall from a fire truck ladder, and free photos of the kids with Santa.

Lansford Alive is planning to repeat the event next year, and is working on plans for an even better promotion.