Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Shutterbugs capture town’s spirit, creativity

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Sorting through photographs in Mealey’s Restaurant on Friday afternoon, two New Market businessmen happily proclaimed the first ‘‘Picture Perfect Town” contest had succeeded.

Though gallery owner David Price will accept entries until Feb. 10, he said the contest had already met its goal of bringing visitors to the town and promoting business.

He and Chim Butt, who owns Mealey’s, were among several residents and business owners who banded together to organize the photo contest and will judge it later this month.

Downtown New Market Partnership, a group formed in March of last year, organized the contest to promote the town.

‘‘I can’t help but see people taking pictures,” Price said, adding that entries so far had been split between town residents and visitors. ‘‘The town residents that have called have been very excited.”

Butt, who donated $100 worth of gift certificates to the contest, said he sponsored the contest because it showed what New Market offers visitors.

‘‘It gives folks who don’t know New Market and what we have to offer a chance to come in and see it,” he said.

Price said that as of Tuesday, there were 20 entries, with 10 more expected to be turned in by the deadline. Entries will be displayed on two consecutive weekends, Feb. 16-17 and Feb. 23-24, in stores throughout New Market.