Even Grinches may find themselves decorating their homes for the holidays in the northwest Iowa town of Anthon. Since 1990, the small Woodbury County town has been offering incentives to residents who put up Christmas lights. Anthon city clerk Ruth Groth says it’s easy to qualify — be current on your utility bills and put up lights, be it one strand or one-hundred strands. Groth explains this year’s incentive.This year, it’s 25-dollars in Anthon bucks, good at any business in town. Anthon has a history of holiday spirit. Groth says locals remember the December in the 1970s when the city-run utility gave everyone in town their monthly bills for free — which cost 25-hundred dollars. She says many people would like to see that sort of gift return but today it’d cost 20-thousand. Groth says the current incentive is lighting up town and making it look very festive. She says of the 312 households, this year 264 have qualified for their Anthon bucks by decking the halls — and their rooflines. There are 51 businesses in the town of 638, all of which are accepting the Anthon bucks, which come in denominations of five-dollar gift certificates.
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