Visit McHenry County is taking entries for holiday lights contest
Residents and business owners have until 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, to sign up to participate in Visit McHenry County's first countywide holiday lights contest.
Homeowners can compete in one of five categories ranging from "White Christmas" to "The Griswold."
Entry is free, and winners -- who will be selected by popular vote online -- will receive a gift basket brimming with locally sourced, McHenry County MADE items.
"It's been a roller coaster of a year," said Jaki Berggren, executive director of Visit McHenry County, which markets the region as a preferred visitors' destination. "We want to end it on a bright, cheerful, fun note."
Visit McHenry County Sales and Marketing Manager Kristine Austin said participating light displays must be up and twinkling during the evening hours of Dec. 1-4 for promotional photography purposes. Voting will be open Dec. 4-18 at lightupmc.com, and winners will be announced via Visit McHenry County's social media channels Dec 21.
"We're excited about this," Austin said. "Several communities that have local contests are sharing our contest with their participants. Also, for those who'd like to view the displays, I'll be placing their locations on our app, along with suggestions of places to stop for dessert or hot cocoa along the way."
The free Visit McHenry County IL! app is downloadable for Apple and Android devices.
To date, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, McHenry and Woodstock are among communities sharing Visit McHenry County's contest with their local light display lovers.
Homeowner lights display categories include "White Christmas" (best all white light display); "The Rainbow-Brite" (most colorful display); "The Griswold" (so many lights you're not sure how they haven't flipped the breaker); "Disco Fever" (best light and music display); and "The Inflatables" (most inflatables per square foot).
Prizes also will be awarded in the best business and best community lights display categories.
To sign up, or for more details, visit lightupmc.com, call Visit McHenry County at (815) 893-6280 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.