MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — When you live in a city that loves the holidays, it’s always great for businesses to help get in the spirit by hanging up decorations and showing kindness to those in need. And this winter, it might even be rewarding — in more than the spiritual sense, of course.

On November 30, Mandan’s city leaders announced that there will be opportunities for businesses to win two types of awards this holiday season — both of which help promote the idea that Mandan’s Holiday Lights on Main, as well as the entire community, should be safe and enjoyable.

The first, and the newest, of these awards is the Golden Shovel — to be given to the business voted to be doing the best job of keeping adjacent sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Nominees to win the Golden Shovel will be accepted until February 1, 2023, with public voting occurring the following month. To improve the competition and promote commercial property and business owners’ awareness of their responsibilities during snowy conditions, the City will be publishing a ‘snow guide’ soon — one that outlines duties and outcomes for alleys and curb bulb-outs.

In addition to the Golden Shove, the Winter Decorating Award — which was popular during its original implementation from 2011-2013 — is being brought back again. Businesses and commercial property owners are encouraged to decorate their building exteriors and visible interiors and leave them decorated until January. These decorations can have any theme, including lit to unlit, fun, festive, and elegant.

The ND Department of Commerce is helping Mandan’s Main Street Initiative give back to businesses in the area and will be contributing $1,500 in prizes to the project to help increase community vibrancy. The winners of each category will receive $500 cash prizes and travel awards, and runners-up will receive $250 cash prizes each. Winners will also be recognized at Mandan City Commission meetings.

“November’s ‘snowpocalypse’ was a reminder basics are vital to the enjoyment of special things,” said Business Development and Communications Director Ellen Huber in a press release. “The goal of these contests is to improve Mandan’s sparkle, accessibility, and pedestrian-friendliness during the cold season.”

Nominations for winter awards can be made through this online form. An announcement of the competition finalists, as well as a chance for public voting, will become available later in the season. For more information, visit the City of Mandan’s website.