Wilmette, Community

Wilmette chamber’s improvised holiday offerings are a hit

In Wilmette, the holiday spirit is alive and well — and COVID-safe.

A trio of festive activities from the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce has made residents merry and bright, despite the cancelation of some beloved seasonal events.

“It’s been a challenging year,” said Julie Yusim, the chamber’s executive director. “We weren’t able to do the holiday parade for obvious reasons. We were concerned about doing a visit with Santa. People were deprived of some of usual holiday happenings. So we tried to find things that were fun.”

The chamber’s programs were to the benefit of the entire community, while also supporting local business.

The Game of Gnomes was built for families, the Best Dressed window-decorating contest highlighted local businesses and the 12 Days of Giving raised money for four Wilmette nonprofits.

The Game of Gnomes asked participants to find a gnome hidden within the window displays of 12 local businesses. The game is so popular — more than 30 families have sent in their answers so far — that Yusim and company extended it to the end of the year.

The winners receive $25 gift cards to the local business of their choosing.

Businesses put out their holiday best and entered the Best Dressed competition. Northwest Passage was the overall and people’s choice champion, while Lambrecht’s Jewelers won the retail category and Yoga Six the service category.

For its holiday efforts, Lambrecht’s Jewelers won top prize in the retail category of the Best Dressed decorating contest.

In the 12 Days of Giving, residents were encouraged to shop at certain businesses to support a different local nonprofit —The Family Service Center, The Wilmette D39 Educational Foundation, Wilmette Theatre and The Woman’s Club of Wilmette — each of the last four weekends.

Yusim also gave credited to Wilmette Village President Bob Bielinski, whose video on shopping local helped the cause.

“We wanted to create some activities that would have some social distancing and be outdoors and be fun and appealing,” she said.

For more information about the activities, visit: www.wilmetteonomics.com/holiday/

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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