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BLOOMINGTON - Making yard cards is just one of several activities the Northwest Neighborhood Association organizes at Christmastime and throughout the year.

Several neighbors are making a float that will be entered in the annual Bloomington-Normal Jaycees Christmas Parade on Saturday.

They also will be handing out candy along the parade route.

There also will be a group caroling around the neighborhood.

In the spring, the association buys flowers and neighbors help plant them on about 30 corners throughout the area.

About 25 households take part in spring yard sales. The event may be moved to the fall next year.

Fall also brings Octoberfest, which includes a Halloween costume contest for all ages and a jack-o-lantern decorating contest.

Once a month, neighbors go out to eat at one of the many restaurants within the neighborhood's boundaries.

"They (the restaurants) advertise in our newsletter and it pays for printing," said association President Susie Curtis.

"It's our way of giving back to our neighbors."

Two visits from the 10 to 20 people who join the event cover the businesses' advertising costs, she said.

The group also goes to Coffee Hound and Boo Boo's in downtown Bloomington because they are operated by residents of the northwest neighborhood.

The newsletter is delivered to 725 homes bimonthly.

The group also has a Web site, www.geocities.com/nnahome, and arranges speakers for its bimonthly meetings.

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