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Mt. Vernon to hold Christmas Light Fight Parade


The annual Downtown Mt. Vernon Christmas Parade & Activities committee are gearing up for an illuminating event on Saturday, December 2nd at 5 p.m. The Great Mt. Vernon Christmas Light Fight route will remain as in years’ past starting on Main Street from 7th Street to 10th Street, then continue from 10th Street to Broadway, and Broadway from 10th back to 7th Street.

“The route is short and sweet,” commented Mt. Vernon Festivals Director, Angela Schrum, “We never know what the weather is going to do when we start planning so we keep the route short which makes us less likely to have to cancel the parade due to less than perfect conditions than if it were a longer route.”

After the parade, activities for children will be set up on 9th Street between Broadway and Main Street, there will be some entertainment from the Jefferson County Girl Scouts and Centre Stage Studios, winning parade entry winners and winners of the Downtown Mt. Vernon Window Decorating Contest will be announced.

Additionally, the Mt. Vernon Business Women’s Club and United Way of South Central Illinois will be on hand with Cookie decorating and a Christmas craft for children to do. There will be free hot chocolate for everyone courtesy of Continental Tire and kettle corn from Angels on Assignment. Miss April’s Music will have handbells set up with Christmas carols anyone can play… no experience required.

“This is a fun, free event for everyone in our area to come and enjoy,” stated Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc. Vice President, Lisa Damron. “It is a great way for families to kick off the holiday season and get in the Christmas spirit. I hear Santa is even planning to arrive and start seeing children in his cottage located by the courthouse.”

Anyone is eligible to enter the parade and applications are available by contacting Mt. Vernon Tourism at 618-242-3151 or emailing tourism@mtvernon.com. It is free to enter, but a $10 donation is being accepted that will be divided between Jefferson County Toys for Kids and Jefferson County Shop with a Cop.

“A group of people I was talking to about participating were really excited about decorating their side-by-sides and mentioned it would be a good way to get donations for local organizations that do stuff for kids at Christmas,” added Traser Sheeler, Committee Member. “Mt. Vernon Sportsman’s Club and Dirt Riders Club have both agreed to donate as well to increase the impact. We’d like to see a friendly competition from other clubs and organizations to see who can get the most lighted entries.”

Parade prize categories include Best Use of Theme, Best Performance, Best Use of Lighting, Best Youth Entry, Best Tractor, Best SxS/ATV, Best Car/Truck, Best Tractor and Best Motorcycle/Group.

Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation is hosting its annual Window Decorating Contest. Any downtown business is eligible to enter by simply decorating their window or outdoor space.

“This has been a longtime tradition for Downtown Development, and we hope to revitalize the contest this year,” mentioned DMDC President, Monte Jo Clark. “Judging will be done the week of November 27th so awards can be presented at The Great Mt. Vernon Christmas Parade & Activities. The only stipulations are that it is a downtown business, and the decorated area must be visible from the road. No indoor displays will be accepted for the contest.”

In addition to the festivities mentioned, attendees are encouraged to visit downtown retailers and restaurants and support local businesses while they are downtown.

“We have several unique shops located downtown and we want to keep them open,” Schrum continued. “Buying even just one gift for someone on your list from a small retailer will make a huge difference for them.”

Downtown retailers who will be open late for the event include Kingdom Seasonings, Mod Threads Boutique, Two Little Babes Boutique & Resale, Sissy’s General Store, Country Roots Boutique, and Colossus Comic & Games. Several downtown restaurants are offering specials for families that evening.

The festivities are supported by Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc. Mount Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau and Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation. For more information on the event, please contact the Mt. Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau at 618-242-3151 or email tourism@mtvernon.com.

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