Vidalia gets cleanest city award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Hard work and some elbow grease paid off for the City of Vidalia Tuesday as it won the District 5 Cleanest City Contest for the second year in a row.

&uot;This is better than Christmas,&uot; said Maureen &uot;Mo&uot; Saunders, city chairman of the annual event. &uot;I’d by lying if I didn’t say I was excited.&uot;

Vidalia received the good news Tuesday evening after judges from the Louisiana Federation of Garden Clubs toured the town earlier in the day.

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Judges use a strict set of 10 criteria including the appearance of neighborhoods and public property to the community’s involvement in the effort.

&uot;This time everybody helped,&uot; Saunders said.

&uot;We had probably 90 percent of the town helping out. It was unbelievable.&uot;

Town crews, members of the Vidalia Garden Club and citizens have prepared for the judging for weeks.

Dozens of volunteers spent hours picking up and making sure the city was looking its best.

&uot;We planted more than 100 new shrubs,&uot; Saunders said.

The hard work paid off and now the City of Vidalia will advance to the state competition to be judged in May.

Tuesday’s win marks the fourth time the city won district honors, claiming the prize in 1994, 1995 and 1999.

In 1994, the city also won the state honor.