DECATUR — Krystal Sturgeon of Decatur walked away from Central Park $1,000 richer on Thursday evening.
Sturgeon was one of 17 people who participated in the Land of Lincoln Credit Union 365, a year-long contest presented by NowDecatur.com. Twenty contestants were in the running at the start of the year, but three didn't make it to the finish line.
The rules were fairly simple: Contestants were challenged to wear their 2017 Decatur Celebration wristbands from the end of last year's festival to the start of this year's. A raffle determined which of the contestants would be walking away with the grand prize.
"When I take (the wristband) off, I'm going to feel naked," Sturgeon said. "It's going to be weird not to have it there, and feel it, not to have it stay wet four hours after a shower."
The Celebration, in its 33rd year in Decatur, kicks off Friday evening with an opening ceremony and performances by country artists Jessie G and Gretchen Wilson. Other scheduled main stage performers include Grammy-winning rapper T.I. on Saturday, and platinum-selling rock band Daughtry on Sunday.
In addition to the cash prize, Sturgeon also received a Celebration VIP prize package valued at $400. The 16 other contestants didn't go empty-handed, as they received two VIP pit passes and a parking pass to this year's event.
Sturgeon already has an idea of what she and her family will do with the prize money.
"I imagine the Celebration's going get a few hundred of it back, just cause I love it so much," she said. "And it's going toward our (Walt) Disney (World) vacation this December."
Sturgeon said it felt good to stick with the competition for a whole year. Not only because of the opportunity to win prizes, but also because it was a neat way to promote the Celebration and all that it does within the community.
"I love being able to talk to people about (Celebration)," she said. "There's so much negativity around it, and I just want to push the positivity about it ... it was awesome."
Everything you need to know about the 2018 Decatur Celebration
Heading downtown for Decatur Celebration this weekend? Here's everything you need to know:
See the menu, full entertainment schedule and more for Decatur Celebration 2018!
See when and at which stage your favorite bands will perform.
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