GALLIPOLIS — Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unexpected holiday season, it is one with an equally unexpected opportunity to light up the town, literally.
“Light Up The Town” is the name of the inaugural lighting contest sponsored by the Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club and supported by area businesses with gift cards offered as prizes for those homes and businesses who are chosen as winners of the contest. The “town” in the contest is Gallipolis, though an opportunity for those who live out in the county is available via a People’s Choice winner category.
“The idea came to me after Christmas last year,” Ashley Horsley, with the junior women’s club said, explaining the contest is also being held in accordance with Gallipolis In Lights.
“Our goal is to be an extension of Gallipolis In Lights,” she added.
She explained, with the restrictions brought about by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic eliminating the annual tree walk contained within the Gallipolis In Lights Display, 2020 presented an unexpected opportunity to roll out the contest to hopefully spread a little Christmas joy.
The hope is, once visitors view the lights at City Park, they will drive around Gallipolis to see homes lit up in Christmas decorations, providing that “extension” of the holiday spirit from the park to homes in the city.
“This is something that is COVID-19 friendly, it would extend from the park and still allow people to get out and drive through all of Gallipolis,” she said.
Here’s how the contest works:
Winners will be chosen for first, second and third place in Best Home Decor in downtown Gallipolis;
A first place winner will be chosen for Best Business Decor in downtown Gallipolis;
Homes and businesses must be decorated and lit on Dec. 12 from 6-9 p.m. to be considered, with winners being judged by a committee;
Winners must be home from 6-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 to receive their prizes, if chosen.
Also being offered, a People’s Choice winner, chosen by “likes” on Facebook. You can participate by sending the Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club a photo of your home’s outdoor decor by Dec. 10 via their Facebook page. The contest for this award will be held Dec. 11 and 12, with the winner announced on Dec. 13. This award is open to all of Gallia County.
Business sponsors for “Light Up The Town” are Piggy Wiggly, Elizabeth Clary Music, Shaynaco, LLC., Need-A-Lift, Domino’s Pizza of Gallipolis, Premier Non-Emergency Medical Transport, Boardroom 46.
The Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club is also offering storybook readings every night, now through Dec.25 via its Facebook page. Guest readers will offer Christmas stories from 6-7 p.m. and at the end of the reading, randomly draw names from those watching/commenting on the storybook post to receive a free book.
“We’re still trying to make it magical,” Horsley said about making the best of an unconventional holiday season.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.