Brooklyn Park City Employees Decorate for the Holidays
Brooklyn Park city employees had competition to decorate their departments for the holidays. Some called the competition friendly; others called it fierce. Organizer Josie Thao called it fun.
With entries like “Barbie on Holiday in Malibu” and “The Island of Misfit (Toys),” entries were creative and festive. Thao said the event boosted staff morale.
“Last year, I hosted a holiday decorating competition for the Community development Department and due the grandeur and excitement surrounding it, other departments wanted to participate in a similar competition,” said Thao. “So it was expanded to everyone at City Hall.”
Participants were encouraged to team up with neighboring workspaces to decorate a work area that mirrored an aspect of any winter holiday around the world. Thao said most staff signed up and then toured the workspaces and cast a vote for “Most Festive Work Area.”
When you walk into city hall, you’ll see the work of Wanda Mitchell, who helped turn her space into “Kawanda Winter Wonderland” with a focus on saving polar bears. Coworkers also credit Mitchell with helping get everyone excited about the event. As you walked through city hall, the excitement was easy to see.
“Coming back out of COVID and having fellowship with our city workers, it’s been a lot of fun getting into the Christmas spirit,” said Sonya Starks, who works in the DMV department.
Shanna Woods, who works in the community engagement division, says the competition was intense.
“Everyone was on top of it. It was fierce,” said Woods, who was checking out the decorations. “It’s beautiful.”
The decorations were judged on creativity that included the use of recycled materials, originality, enthusiasm and ambience. Staff could not vote for their own space, and they couldn’t vote by proxy. The prize? A 3-D snowman made by Erin McDermott, and perhaps more importantly, bragging rights for 365 days.
List of Winners
First Place: Santa’s Toyland – Building Inspections Division
Second Place: Barbie on Holiday in Malibu – Economic Development & Housing and Workforce Development Divisions
Third Place Tie:
- Candyland – Customer Service Division (DMV Area)
- The Gingerbread Workshop – Environmental Health Division
- Kawanda Winter Wonderland – Customer Service Division (Front Counter)
Fourth Place: German Holiday Market – Planning and Rental & Business Licensing Divisions
Fifth Place: The Island of Misfit (Toys) – Assessing, Financial Services, and Utility Billing Divisions
Sixth Place: Minimalism… and We Miss Gerri – Engineering Division
- We Tried… in Between Track-it Requests – ITS Division
- You Can’t Spell HERO Without HR – Human Resources Division
Eighth Place: The Polar Express – City Clerk and Community Engagement