The City of Williamsburg is working to help people avoid having a ‘Blue Christmas’ by encouraging individuals and businesses to decorate for the holidays.
“What we are wanting to do this year is really light up Williamsburg,” said Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison as he explained the “Light up Williamsburg” event that will take place in December.
Businesses and residents are encouraged to decorate their houses for the annual contest.
This year an incentive is being offered to businesses to encourage their participation. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $500, $300 and $200 respectively. For businesses who are unable to decorate, organizations are volunteering to ‘adopt’ the location and decorate. If a business is ‘adopted’ and is one of the winners, the organization that decorated will be awarded the money.
The prize for residents will remain the same this year with winners receiving signs. Residents will be judged in three separate categories: traditional, modern traditional and bling-bling.
Harrison said that the traditional category consists of decorations that involve a lot of greenery, wreaths and other traditional decorations. The modern traditional category will consist of similar decorations but will include more lights and more elaborate displays. Harrison compared the decorations found in the bling-bling category to those of Clark Griswold’s home in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
To ensure that all houses are included in the judging, all houses within city limits will be judged. Despite all houses being included, Harrison recommends if individuals would like to make sure their property is considered that they call Tourism or City Hall to let officials know they will be participating.
The judging of this year’s contests will take place from Dec. 5 to 12 and will be conducted by the same individuals who judged last year.
In addition to the decorating contests, Grace Cross, of Jellico, will be painting some of the windows of downtown businesses in the upcoming weeks.
Individuals and families can also participate in a scavenger hunt created by Nannie Hays, Williamsburg’s Main Street Manager. The hunt will consist of decorations found in both downtown and residential areas.
The hunt will take place from Dec. 5 to 19 and does not have to be completed in one day. Once the list of decorations is posted on the Williamsburg City website and social media, individuals will be able to complete the hunt on their own time. In order to complete the scavenger hunt, participants will be required to find each of the items listed and write the name of the street where the decoration is located. Once all items are located, participants can take their completed form to the Tourism office located at 650 S 10th St, Williamsburg, KY 40769 to receive a goody bag for the children, said Harrison.
Harrison said that he has purchased seven 7-foot Christmas trees that will be located around the downtown area. These trees will light up and play music.
These events are the city’s attempt to, “bring the Christmas spirit to town knowing that we couldn’t have a parade,” said Harrison. “I know a lot of people are upset about not having a parade, but I just could not figure the logistics of having that many people together with our numbers for COVID running so high and increasing.”
“We are just really trying to get everybody involved this year and uplift spirits. It has really been such a downer year,” said Harrison. “We are hoping to bring some light and joy into people’s lives.”
Harrison said that information regarding the locations of the Christmas trees and decorated homes will be provided once it has been finalized.