Downtown Christmas lights

Photo by Michael Johnson

Most of the Christmas lights and decorations were purchased in 1994 and are in need of upgrades.

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MONTICELLO — It will look like Christmas in June this weekend.

The Streets of Monticello Association is conducting a “Stocking Shake” throughout the downtown area from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 12 in an effort to raise cash toward refurbishing the city’s holiday lights and decorations that are displayed during the Christmas season each year.

S.O.M.A. volunteers, as well as people from the city of Monticello and the Monticello Redevelopment Corporation, will be stationed at the corner of Main and Washington streets and at the corner of Illinois and Washington streets. They’ll be holding stockings in which to stuff cash donations.

According to Brandi Page, S.O.M.A. president, the current lights and decorations were purchased in 1994 by the former Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The city has wired, rewired and patched them together. They are literally on their last bulbs,” she said.

Page said S.O.M.A. has conducted fundraisers during the past two years with an eye toward replacing the aging lights. She mentioned the pre-pandemic Holiday Home Tour and the Cookies and Cocoa events before the lighted Christmas parade as two of the many things designated fundraisers for the lights.

Page said the fund has roughly $10,000 in it now.

“We all love our lights so we decided the best thing to do would be to refurbish them,” she said. “It is cheaper to refurbish what we have than to purchase all new (lights).”

Page said $25,000 is needed to refurbish the aging decorations and purchase new ones for the Washington Street Bridge.

“Our long-term goal is to do Broadway and Illinois streets with similar decorations to keep the same feel,” she said.

To accomplish that goal, S.O.M.A. will need to raise $45,000 to $50,000 “to do everything we want to.”

The Stocking Shake is just one of several fundraisers that will take place this year leading up to Christmas. There will also be the Christmas in July golf outing set for July 16, with all proceeds going to the Christmas Lights Fund.

“We also have a little something up our sleeve for the park, with more details coming soon,” Page said.

People who can’t make it into town to contribute on June 12 can donate in other ways, including mailing donations to Streets of Monticello Association, P.O. Box 42, Monticello, IN 47960.

Donations, Page said, can also be dropped off at the Mayor’s Office or at the White County Economic Development Office.

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