| Rockford Register Star
ROCKFORD — Businesses throughout Winnebago County are encouraged to decorate exteriors, interiors and storefronts for the holidays to compete for cash prizes.
“Spread the Light: A Merry & Bright Decorations Contest for our Business Community” is presented by the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and its partners. The contest features three categories: “The Griswolds,” for the biggest and brightest lights; “The Real. Original,” for most original in showcasing community pride; and “The Charlie Brown,” for less-is-more, minimalist supremacy.
The contest kicks off Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 24 on the GoRockford Facebook page, where the region’s best and brightest holiday business décor will be on display.
“Being a business with 50 years serving the Rock River Valley, we felt compelled to help spread holiday cheer, peace and goodwill throughout our community,” Chad Anderson, vice president of Anderson Automotive Group, one of the presenters of the event, said in a news release.
“Our hope is that the idea catches on in every corner of Winnebago County, so that our retail corridors will be the brightest they’ve ever been, and also that families take the opportunity to drive around town to see the lights and feel the magic of the holiday season.”
To participate, area businesses may submit decoration photos (one entry per business) with contact name, business name, business address, email address and phone number to [email protected] by Dec. 13.
Category galleries will be live on the Stroll on State Spread the Light event on the GoRockford Facebook page the week of Dec. 14-18, when public voting begins and runs through the contest’s conclusion on Dec. 24.
Winning businesses will be determined by the most likes/engagements. Cash prizes of $250 will be awarded for each category winner.
And the business that gets the most likes/engagements of the three categories will also receive a staff meal or gift card(s) of up to $250 for a local restaurant of the winner’s choice.
The contest is one activity being presented by the visitors bureau’s scaled-back Stroll, which has been redesigned because of the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the virus is spread mostly through respiratory droplets emitted from sneezing, coughing and talking. State officials have ruled against hosting large crowds as a way to prevent the spread.
The past seven years, Stroll had been a one-day event with a parade that drew tens of thousands to downtown streets. This year’s Stroll highlights include:
• Expanded decorations downtown;
• A new location for the official city of Rockford Christmas Tree at Davis Park with extensive new decorations throughout the park;
• A Merry & Bright Holiday television production from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 28, on 13 WREX that will feature a live online tree-lighting program and conclude with fireworks at multiple locations citywide;
• An at-home version of the Fleet Feet Dasher Dash 5k;
• An extended SantaLand at Rockford City Hall.
For more information: strollonstate.com.
Georgette Braun: [email protected]; @GeorgetteBraun