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GIBSON CITY -- Gibson City through the Years – History Committee, a fundraising group for Gibson City’s 150th anniversary celebration, will host “CrAzY 2020” Wine Down on Saturday, Nov. 7.

The event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is intended to promote downtown businesses and raise funds for Gibson City’s sesquicentennial in 2021.

“We’ve got stuff planned for every month,” event chair Sharon Heavilin said of the sesquicentennial celebration.

Tentative plans include hanging sesquicentennial banners on light posts in January, having elementary school students write essays about why they love Gibson City in February, a Chamber of Commerce dinner in March, a birthday party for the town’s oldest citizens in April, a beard and bonnet 5K and the opening of a time capsule at the old library in May.

Each “Wine Walker” must check in with the committee between 11 a.m. and noon at a tent set up outside of Insurance Providers Service office, 126 N. Sangamon Ave. Volunteers are needed to help with checking in participants.

IDs and proof of being 21 will be checked. Anyone under the age of 21 will not be allowed to participate. Wine Walkers will purchase a $20 ticket and be given a wristband, custom event glass, map of participating businesses and shop guide card. To be served a beverage and snack, participants must have the wristband, glass and shop guide card.

Wine Walkers will visit the participating businesses. The business representative will initial or stamp the shop guide card prior to being served. The glass distributed by the committee, which will have the Gibson City logo on it, is to be the only one used for the event.

Participants who visit and get their card stamped by all businesses will qualify for the drawing of the grand prize basket, which the committee will award at the end of the event. In addition to the grand prize basket, there are four “very neat” baskets to be given away, according to Heavilin.

Only 200 tickets for the event will be sold.

Businesses are being asked to make accommodations so employees and Wine Walkers are following COVID-19 guidelines. They will be providing reminders about social distancing and using gloves for serving the Wine Walkers food and drinks.

Businesses are being encouraged to offer special sales, host a raffle, provide giveaways, give a tour and tell about the services and products they offer.

Wine Walkers should keep their sales receipts; for each $10 of purchases made during the event, they will receive a ticket to enter in the prize drawing. Participants who get stamped by all businesses will qualify for the grand prize drawing. Drawings for the prizes will be at the end of the event at 126 N. Sangamon Ave. Some prizes have been donated by non-downtown businesses.

Tickets can be purchased at Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Wine Down was originally scheduled for March 21 but was canceled due to the pandemic. Heavilin hopes that the approximately 50 people who purchased tickets at that time will attend the upcoming event.

Previous fundraisers for the sesquicentennial over the last five years have been “really good,” Heavilin said, and included cemetery walks and business walks. The cemetery walk highlighted Gibson City resident Maxine J. Jackson, who was the Aunt Jemima girl for Quaker Oats in the 1960s and 1970s, and Donna Kay Erickson Gramlich, who was one of the faces of Little Miss Sunbeam, the mascot of Sunbeam bread. Both are buried at Drummer Township Cemetery.

For more information about the Wine Down, contact Heavilin at 217-249-8103 or sharoncraig74@yahoo.com

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