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By Cynthia Haggitt
The board of directors of Downtown Country Christmas Festival (DCCF) made sure this holiday season is brighter than ever with its annual kickoff in Jerseyville.
It takes a page from Jerseyville’s past. Many may remember when business owners created wonderful holiday displays in their storefront windows, and families walked around Jerseyville’s business district to enjoy what Christmas represents to them.
The Bright Nights event extended beyond State Street this year. For the first time in years, the Jersey County Courthouse exterior and Dolan Park on Jefferson Street includes extravagant Christmas light displays. Although DCCF was not blocked off this year on State Street, most of the activities took place in the New Jerseyville Center Park. There was a visit from Santa Claus, the lighting of Jerseyville’s 35-foot Christmas tree, Rudolph’s Red Nose Parade, games, activities, bounce houses, the holiday craft bazaar, selfie stop challenge and the presentation of the Kringle Award. In addition, Jerseyville residents and business owners competed for the best decorated home and business.
This year’s festivities began on Nov. 27, a.k.a Small Business Saturday. This American shopping holiday encourages people to support small businesses and shop locally.
The Kringle Award, which honors individuals and businesses who exemplify the spirit of giving and leadership was announced and it went to Darla Cavins.
“She was chosen for her work with the Here’s to Reading program. Darla provides a service and activity to rural children all over Jersey County and beyond,” DCCF President Michael Ward said.
DCCF may have been shelved for 2020, but Bright Nights 2021 did not disappoint Jersey County residents and visitors who came to the festival. It was an amazing light show all around the county, filled with holiday cheer. There were two trees this year to see. Both trees were bigger, the light show and parade were longer and there were more sponsors than last year because of the development of City Center Park which allowed this year’s festival to be better than all years combined. It was a beautiful display of Christmas magic.