Kewaunee County Holiday Light Contest on again with simplified categories
KEWAUNEE – Putting up award-winning strings of Christmas lights and decorations may be complicated or time-consuming, but entering your decor in the Great Kewaunee County Holiday Light Contest should be easier this year.
The contest is on again, after it drew more than 60 entries in its first year, last year. Entries opened the afternoon of Nov. 27, and 20 sign-ups were received in the first three days. Winners are judged by a public poll at the contest's Facebook page.
"I think it went very well last year," said Sara Krouse, executive director of the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the contest co-sponsors. "It got off to a slow start because it was a new thing, but by the end of the registration period, we had a lot of interest. We had people asking months ago if we were going to do this again."
Interest has been strong enough that Krouse said she heard of some people who, once they heard the contest was returning, went out to purchase more, new lights and decorations.
The Kewaunee and Luxemburg area chambers of commerce are among the other sponsors, and Krouse said the contest intends to get residents and visitors to move around the county to see what people and organizations are doing to spruce up the holidays.
"It gets people out of their houses, into their cars, driving around the county," Krouse said.
One big change from last year's contest is the re-thinking of the entry categories. That first year saw six categories, including divisions for residential, business and nonprofit and a "Best Griswold" award named for the over-exuberant lighting of the family house in the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," but this year has categories split just by region — one for Algoma-area lights, one for the Kewaunee area and one for the Luxemburg area — plus an overall Grand Champion.
Krouse said the organizers instituted the change after feedback from participants and prospective voters. She said some confusion existed among entrants who weren't sure which category to enter.
"We also got feedback especially from elderly residents who weren't comfortable driving outside their communities at night," Krouse added. "They wanted to vote but didn't because they couldn't get to all (the entries)."
Besides pride, winners will get a yard sign commemorating their triumph and a $50 gift certificate toward their utility bills from WPS, one of the contest sponsors.
Entry registrations are taken through Dec. 6, and decorations must be up by 5 p.m. Dec. 7. The online poll will be up from Dec. 7 to 20 at the chambers' websites and the event's Facebook page. Maps to the registered contestants will be available there and at gas stations and convenience stores in the county.
To enter or vote, visit vistalgomawi.com/lights, kewaunee.org/county-lights, luxemburgchamber.com or facebook.com/KewauneeCountyLightContest.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County Holiday Light Contest on again with simplified categories