When the annual Lighting of the Lights ceremony comes to downtown St. Charles just after Thanksgiving, it’s a good sign that the holiday season is officially underway.
The fun begins at 5 p.m. on Nov. 26 at the First Street Plaza, right by the Fox River. Together, visitors and community leaders count down until the city becomes aglow with lights. Santa will be on hand to say hello.
A new side event from last year, the Holiday Tree Trail, was such a success that it returns this year.
The trail stretches along First Street and the river walk, and it features 50 Christmas trees that are decorated by local organizations and businesses. People can cast their vote for the best-decorated tree and find out who won the award at the end of the weekend.
“It was a nice way to decorate the town,” says Amy Curione, events manager for the St. Charles Business Alliance, which organizes the event. “The trees will be up throughout the holiday season until the end of the year.”
Saturday, Nov. 27, brings more fun, starting with the Arcada Theatre’s free showing of “Frozen II” at 10 a.m. Then, as the sun sets on Small Business Saturday, the annual Electric Christmas Parade commences in grand style. It begins at 5:30 p.m. and stretches along Main Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue. Expect to see bands and floats, as well as an appearance by Santa.
Afterward, he’ll take up residence in his house at the First Street Plaza, where children can visit every Saturday and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., between Nov. 27 and Dec. 19. He will also accept letters during his stay.
“Our town is very festive,” says Curione. “It’s a wonderful place to visit during the season.”
For more information, check out the St. Charles Holiday Homecoming website at stc.holidayhomecoming.com. ❚
The St. Charles Business Alliance is located at 2 Main St., St. Charles, (630) 443-3967.