The Iroquois County Historical Society is pleased to announce the winners of Christmas Tree Lane 2019 and Christmas House Gallery. There were about 45 trees decorated throughout the museum by area individuals, families, groups, businesses and organizations, and five houses were entered in the house gallery.

The theme for Christmas Tree Lane was “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Judging took place by museum visitors dropping money into containers, which was how the Peoples’ Choice Overall winners were selected. A panel of judges chose the winners in the categories of Most Original, Best Use of Theme, Best Hand-Crafted Ornaments, and Best Decorated.

BEST HAND-CRAFTED ORNAMENTS

For this category, first place went to Iroquois Resident Home of Watseka, second place was a tie between Watseka Park District After-School Kids’ Program and American Tribe Equine Therapy of Beaverville; and third place was a tie between Girl Scout Troop #2075 of Watseka and Stephanie Bowers of Milford.

Fourth place in this category went to the Kankakee Community College ESL and GED students of Watseka, fifth place was a tie between Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley and the McCullough-Bratcher family of Watseka; sixth place was a tie between Clara Runner of Milford and Knot Just Quilters of Watseka; and seventh place was a tie between Iroquois County Genealogical Society and Ford-Iroquois Retired Teachers Association, both of Watseka.

BEST DECORATED

Iroquois Resident Home of Watseka took first in this category, with Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley in second, the Bence Family of Watseka in third, and a tie for fourth between Watseka Park District’s After-School Kids’ Program of Watseka and American Tribe Equine Therapy of Beaverville.

Fifth place was a tie between the Memorial Tree for June Dehlin and Judy Kinney, and the McCullough-Bratcher Family of Watseka. There was a four-way tie for sixth and those entries were: Robinson Chiropractic of Danville, Iroquois Memorial Hospice and Home Health of Watseka, Girl Scout Troop #2075 of Watseka, and Ginny Lee of Milford. There was a two-way tie for seventh between the Kankakee Community College ESL and GED Students of Watseka and Watseka American Legion Auxiliary and VFW.

BEST USE OF THEME

First place in this category went to Iroquois Resident Home of Watseka, second went to Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley, third went to Watseka Park District’s After-School Kids’ Program, and fourth went to Girl Scout Troop #2075 of Watseka.

There was a tie for fifth between the Bence Family of Watseka, the Memorial Tree for June Dehlin and Judy Kinney, and Stephanie Bowers of Milford. The McCullough-Bratcher Family of Watseka took sixth. There was a five-way tie for seventh between: Iroquois Memorial Hospice and Home Health, Watseka’ the Kankakee Community College ESL and GED Students of Watseka; Fiona, Colleen and Catie Ailey of Woodland; the Hand Family of Milford, and Watseka American Legion Auxiliary and VFW.

MOST ORIGINAL

Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley took first, Iroquois Resident Home of Watseka earned second, American Tribe Equine Therapy of Beaverville received third, and fourth was a tie between Watseka Park District’s After-School Kids’ Program and the Hand Family of Milford. Fifth place went to Ginny Lee of Milford.

In this category, sixth place went to the McCullough-Bratcher family of Watseka. There was a three-way tie for seventh between the Bence Family of Watseka, Kankakee Community College’s ESL and GED students of Watseka, and Stephanie Bowers of Milford.

PEOPLES’ CHOICE OVERALL

Visitors to the museum chose Iroquois Memorial Hospice and Home Health of Watseka for first, the Memorial Tree for June Dehlin and Judy Kinney took second, third went to Watseka American Legion Auxiliary and VFW, fourth went to Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley, fifth went to Watseka Park District’s After-School Kids’ Program, sixth went to Girl Scout Troop #2075 of Watseka, and seventh went to American Tribe Equine Therapy of Beaverville.

CHRISTMAS HOUSE GALLERY

Chosen as winners in the Peoples’ Choice Overall category were: Misty and Olivia Hagele, Watseka, first; Taylor Bright (pink and blue roof), Watseka, second; Clara Runner, Milford, third; Tyler Runner, Milford, fourth; and Taylor Bright (Santa’s sleigh), Watseka, fifth.

In the Most Original category, Misty and Olivia Hagele took first, Taylor Bright’s entry with the pink and blue roof took second, Taylor Bright’s entry of Santa’s sleigh was third, Tyler Runner received fourth, and Clara Runner’s entry took fifth place.

For the Best Decorated category, Taylor Bright’s entry with the pink and blue roof took first; Misty and Olivia Hagele’s entry placed second, Taylor Bright’s entry of Santa’s sleigh took third, Tyler Runner placed fourth, and fifth went to Clara Runner.

Wanda, the Wonder Dog’s tree, located in the office of the museum, was not included in the voting; however, visitors could leave monetary donations. Due to the generosity of visitors, $75 was collected and donated to ICARe.

The theme for Christmas Tree Lane 2020 will be “Christmas Joy.” All individuals, businesses, families, classrooms, groups, organizations, daycares and such are invited to plan to participate in the 53rd annul event. Decorating will be able to take place from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. House Gallery entries and Christmas trees will need to be completed by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, with voting beginning Wednesday, Dec. 2. An open house is planned for Sunday, Dec. 6.

The ICHS, which sponsors Christmas Tree Lane, extends its appreciation to all who entered trees and houses in 2019 and invites everyone to participate in 2020. The ICHS, a non-profit organization, helps support the Old Courthouse Museum, 103 W. Cherry, Watseka, as funds raised are used to help with utility bills, repairs, maintenance, upkeep and updates of the building.

For those with trees and houses still at the museum, it is asked they be undecorated and removed by Friday, Jan. 15.

For more information on museum events and activities, visit the Facebook page of Old Courthouse Museum – Watseka or the website of www.iroquoiscountyhistoricalsociety.com.