Don’t be a Grinch, be safe with Santa

Douglas County Health Department would like to remind everyone that you can still enjoy special holiday activities while making responsible choices to help protect the health of your loved ones and the general community.

The tradition of visiting—perhaps even having breakfast with—Santa is a cherished one, but this year it would be in everyone’s best interest to look for a safer version. 

Several Central Illinois communities are hosting drive-thru light displays that allow for the magic of Christmas to safely dazzle kids young and old. Here are just a few such destinations.

*Mattoon Lightworks in Peterson Park (500 Broadway Ave.) is open Sun.-Thurs. 5-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m. Admission is free, though donations are accepted. Learn more at https://www.eventcrazy.com/Mattoon-IL/events/details/214421-Mattoon-Lightworks . 

*Shelbyville Festival of Lights in Forest Park (East N. 9th St.) is open Sun.-Thurs. 5-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m. Admission is free, though donations are accepted. Learn more at https://www.enjoyillinois.com/explore/listing/shelbyville-festival-of-lights .

*Effingham Wonderland in Lights in Community Park is open Sun.-Thurs. 5-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m. Admission is free. Learn more at https://localinfonow.com/event/wonderland-in-lights-2020-community-park/2020-12-31 .  

*Christmas Lights in the Park in Paris (Twin Lakes Park) is open evenings now through 1/2/21. Admission is free.

*Candlestick Lane in Urbana is located in the east side Grant Place area, and is open nightly 5-10 p.m. through Christmas. Participating streets include Eastern Drive from Cottage Grove Ave. to Cole Place, Fairlawn Drive from Cottage Grove to Patton Place, and Grant Place from Fairlawn Drive to Eastern Ave. Admission is free.

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