Three weekends of visits to Santa and Mrs. Claus at Du Quoin City Hall, culminated in Sunday evening's prize drawings.
Every child in line to see Santa each of the three weekends was invited to make an entry for an age-appropriate prize drawing. On Sunday, Santa pulled the names out of the drum to award the prizes.
Backpacks: Bladen Crow, Zoey Crow, Harper Bravard, Hayslee Bravard, Maverick Butler. Elisah Farly, Apollo Gaston, Jennifer Kosma, Annabelle Stoeker and Olivia Toler.
World's Largest Stocking: Lilly Murphy
Chromebook: Paisley Cook
Bicycle: Jackson Kennedy
Amy James of Du Quoin Tourism said Monday that the turnout in 2021 was about half of the numbers of children who came to see Santa at City Hall in 2020.
The difference, she and others think, was that in 2020, coming to see Santa was one of the few activities a COVID-housebound population was willing to do, and therefore it was eagerly embraced. The Clauses have been behind Plexiglas to avoid catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus.
By Christmas 2021, however, people have been going out for months, and they had many more options, James said.
She added the drop in participation this year mirrors what is going on at the Holiday Lights Fair at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, where the numbers so far are about half of 2020 as well.
James said they've even gotten complaints about the $10 per car fee for driving through the Lights Fair.
She said people don't understand that it costs Du Quoin Tourism $7,000-$8,000 a year to rent the use of the fairgrounds from the state of Illinois just for the lights show; and that if the Exhibition Hall were open, it would cost even more.