WASHBURN, Ill. (WMBD) — This year marked the first Washburn Christmas Cruise. The Washburn Festival Committee decided to create a holiday event that would be safe and follow COVID-19 mitigations, but also bring joy to families.
Over 30 families signed up to participate in the Christmas Cruise and decorate their houses with festive lights and decorations. Spectators paid an admission fee of $5 and began the “cruise” at The American Legion building in Washburn.
There, they received hot cocoa and other treats, as well as a map and list of addresses of all the participating houses.
“With the pandemic and everything, people might not be getting out of their homes, or anything, and feeling a bit sad, or not in the Christmas spirit. So we thought this is something they can come and enjoy,” Amanda Forney, President of the Washburn Festival Committee, said. “And it’s safe, they can stay in their own space, and we are all just outside and they can do their own thing.”
At the end of the night, spectators could cast their votes by paper and drop them off at The American Legion building, or vote online.
The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve and will receive a grand prize of $350. There will also be second and third place prizes. Forney said this can help out with utilities in December and bring extra joy to the winners.