Again the magic in his old silk hat wafts throughout the community, spreading a festive air when Frosty the Snowman comes to West Chicago for Frosty Fest from 4: to 7: p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in the historic downtown district. It is a joyful event for all ages.
Pre-fest events include the Holiday Open House, from 5 to8:p.m. at the West Chicago Public Library and the “Small Gifts of Art” exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 200 Friday, Dec. 2. (Full details on these two events are elsewhere in the column.)
The Frosty Fest procession steps off at 4 p.m. from the eastern entrance to the Metra parking lot next to La Michoacana Ice Cream left on Main Street, right at Galena Street and right on High Street to Center Street. Participants are the West Chicago Police Department and Honor Guard, West Chicago Fire Protection District, Santa and Mrs. Claus, West Chicago Park District, West Chicago Lions Club train, City Council members riding in a horse-drawn trolley, Mayor Ruben Pineda and the student raffle winners.
At the Fox Community Center, 306 Main Street, the mayor and winners of the student raffle contest officially open Frosty Fest with the lighting of the community holiday tree and lights throughout the downtown area. Kramer Tree Specialists decorated the tree, donating the lights and, decorations. This is the 14th year KTS has either donated a tree and/or decorated the tree. Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education students decorated the wooden elf shoes and hat ornaments. Melodic songs are heard with the performances of Gary Elementary School Choir and West Chicago Community High School A Capella Choir. Also at this location aldermen and volunteers help pass out holiday-themed 3d glasses.
After this, the doors to the community center open, where holiday crafters have gifts or decorations for the holidays in the Elves Workshop.Vendors are Brainy Day Box, educational sensory kits; Ever Clever Toys, handmade wooden toys; Hickory Grove Homestead, goat milk soaps and lotions; Riley & Wheat, all natural soy candles; and The Naked Truffle, chocolate bonbons, truffles, toffees, and jams.
The American Legion Post 300 hall, 123 Main Street, is a hub of entertainment, musical performances and spirit. The West Chicago Park District has meet and greet with Tortuga and some craft projects. Fun holiday spirit wear is available while the supplies last. City of West Chicago is the sponsor. Appearing on stage at 5 p.m. is the District 33 Ballet Folklorico, sponsored by Comcast. Funny Little People elves perform at 5:30 p.m. and are available for photographs. Leman Mariachi band plays at 6 p.m. Performing at 6:30 p.m. is the West Chicago Community High School Choir.
Republic Bank, 101 Main St., turns into the North Pole. Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus begin after the tree lighting ceremony. The visit becomes more enjoyable as the West Chicago Lions Clubs and Friends of West Chicago Parks Foundation serve popcorn and the West Chicago Rotary Club serves hot chocolate. Guests can participate in the snowflake project by People Made Visible. The sounds of Christmas carols resonate from members of New Hope United Methodist Church.
“Small Gifts of Art”at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington St., is an ideal place to find the artistic gift and/or ornament. From 5 to 7 p.m. artist Starla Snead holds a make and take ornament, a ceramic piece with her alcohol inks colors. The charge is $8. Healthy West Chicago has a grab and go nutrition activity.
At West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main St., there is the opportunity to have fun with art and history. These include a make and take activity, the Village of Turner 150th Anniversary exhibit and an historic backdrop photo-op.
Twinkling lights cast the perfect glow on the outside activities. Renowned ice sculptor Joe Gagnepain portrays his artistic talent, using his chainsaw as a paintbrush to create a holiday masterpiece. Groot is the sponsor of his event.The live alpacas, who captivate the hearts of adults and children, return this year. Fifth Third Bank is the sponsor. Reindeer make their appearance.Capturing the old-fashioned charm of the community, horse-drawn wagon rides travel in the nearby historical residential neighborhood, starting at Galena and Main streets. An electric train is another form of transportation, which is also sponsored by Groot. Frosty, Gingerbread Man and Reindeer characters are available for photos.
For those who want some extra nourishment as they enjoy Frosty Fest, there are food trucks. These include Churro Babes with funnel cakes, churros, cheese curds and fried Oreos; Mini Donuts; Rebecca’s Cake by Design with coffee, hot cocoa, cookies, hot cinnamon rolls and warm pie; and Sausage Fest. Also most of the restaurants are open.
After purchasing food, guest can enjoy the delicious treats inside the heated tent. Other activities include Educare West DuPage with Winter crafts and face painting sponsored by Compass Mortgage and Haggerty Ford.
As the evening ends, all can return home with the magical memories of Frosty Fest 2023 dancing in their heads.
For full information of activities, view https://westchicago.org/frosty-fest/
AROUND AND ABOUT
- West Chicago Public Library, 118 W. Washington St., hosts An Enchanted Winter’s Evening Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec.1, 2023. There are activities, crafts, entertainment, hot chocolate and snacks.
Many activities take place for 5 to 8 p.m. in the Youth Department. These include a Gnome craft, woven Swedish Heart Basket craft, a Gnome scavenger hunt and carnival games of Gnome bowling, Penguin Pinko and a Candy Cane relay race. There also is the showing of Walt Disney’s movie, “Frozen.”
During the same hours in the Adult Department , there is a snowflake craft and snowflake bookmarks. The A Capella Choir from West Chicago Community High School performs from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Special guests are the Snow Queen and her sister Frozen Princess Ann.They meet the patrons and are available for pictures from 6 to 7:30 p..m.(https://merleburl.com)
- “Small Gifts of Art” is the exhibit at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington Street, for the month of December. Participating artists are Margaret Bucholz, Nadine Buck, Sharon Malec, Laurie Parker, Britta Renwick, Starla Snead, Sue Tripp and Marita Valdizan. The artwork of the nine featured artists is perfect for holiday gifts, plus reasonably priced. A small Christmas tree has a variety of ornaments.The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, Dec.1, 2023 .The gallery also is open during Frosty Fest. (https://merleburl.com)
- The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park presents its Date with History series program at 7 p.m.Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, via Zoom or in person in the Visitors Center, 1S151 Winfield Road. Military historian Steve Fixler discusses the 1st Infantry Division’s role in the 1943 Allied Invasion of Sicily during World War II. Code-named Operation Husky, it was the largest amphibious invasion of the war to that point and became the template for the D-Day landings at Normandy one year later. Registration is required. To register, visit org .Parking is complimentary for those attending in person.
Fixler enlisted in the U.S Army in 1979 as an Armor Crewman, Tanker. He left the Army in 1983 as a Sergeant and returned to Illinois. From 1983 to1987, he served in the Illinois Army National Guard and went to Northeastern Illinois University/Chicago and to Loyola University of Chicago for ROTC. He received his Illinois Army National Guard commission in 1985 and graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 1987. He then rejoined the U.S. Army on active duty as an Armor Officer and took on a variety of assignments before retiring in 2004 as a Major. He is currently Superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission of DuPage County and volunteers at the First Division Museum at Cantigny. (https://merleburl.com)
- The West Chicago Historical Society and the West Chicago Friends of the West Chicago City Museum host the first German Christmas Tree Trimming Party Fundraiser Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, at the Kruse House Museum, 527 Main St. The two one-hour slots are 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Guests help decorate the Kruse House tree, make German paper holiday crafts and create historic Christmas decorations. Appetizers and holiday Spirits are served. The ticket price is $25 and can be purchased through the website https://www.krusehousemuseum.org/events .Space is limited. https://merleburl.com
- The West Chicago Public Library program, “Victorian Holiday Traditions,” is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in the main meeting room, 118 W. Washington St. Some of the questions answered include the sending of Christmas cards, Santa and his red suit, and the first Christmas tree. To make a reservation, visit https://wcpld.info, under calendar.
- West Chicago Park District offers a fun trip to White Fence Farm for the holidays Friday, December 8, 2023. Scheduled time is from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost of $61 includes transportation, lunch of chicken and sides, and entertainment by Sweet Reminders, a dynamic duo that entertains audiences with the hits of yesterday in their unique playful style. Not only do they sing familiar holiday tunes, but also pay a special tribute to the songs from Christmas television special from years ago, plus humor and quirky props. The small bits of audience participation create a perfect outing, Reservations are due by Friday Nov. 24, and may be made at https://www.we-goparks.org/adult-programs.
- The West Chicago Public Library Saturday Crafternoon program, is at 2 p.m. Saturday,Dec. 9, 2023, in the main program room, 118 W. Washington St. Participants make a wine cork Christmas tree .To make a reservation, visit https://wcpld.info, under calendar. https://merleburl.com
- The North Pole Adventure, hosted by the West Chicago Park District, takes to the rails Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10. 2023. Departure times are 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. from the West Chicago Metra Station, 508 Main St. Santa joins the passengers on the holiday train. A parent or guardian must accompany children on the train. Every adult and child needs to be pre-registered for this event; space is limited. The cost is $22 for residents and $25 for non residents. Register at we-goparks.org/special-events. https://merleburl.com
- American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 host the Holiday Celebration for the Community Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at the Legion, 123 Main St. The American Legion is organizing the party, which is open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m.; dinner is at 7 p.m. The ticket price of $25 per person includes the dinner of ham and all the trimmings. Deadline for purchasing tickets is Sunday, Dec. 5. There are no sales at the door. Tickets are available at the Legion. Other activities are gifts raffle and musical entertainment by LaRhonda, plus Santa drops in for a visit. For further information or to reserve tickets, call 630 231-2112.
- “Christmas Bread with Chef Cherise” is the West Chicago Public Library program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in the main meeting room 118 W, Washington St. Using one basic dough, two Christmas yeast breads are made. Chef Cherise Slattery teaches how to make a Christmas Star Bread studded with pistachios and a strawberry jam swirl. The other recipe is Pull-Apart Christmas Tree Buns with roasted red pepper and Parmesan cheese. Guests enjoy samples. To register visit visit https://wcpld.info,
- The West Chicago Park District monthly social gathering for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, at the ARC, 201 W. National Street. The theme is “Holiday Celebration.” Guests are asked to bring a wrapped gift worth no more than $5. Ukulele Moonshiners provide the entertainment. The charge is $15. Reservation deadline is Friday, Dec. 8, and may be made at https://www.we-goparks.org/special-events.
- West Chicago Park District hosts Paint & Sip, “Twilight Rain.” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in the ARC in Reed-Keppler Park, 201 W. National St. The cost is $42, which includes all supplies. To register, visit https://www.we-goparks.org/adult-programs. The instructor is from Pinot’s Palette. The event is geared for persons 14 and over. Painters over the age of 21 may bring their own bottle of wine.
- Discovering Santa likes pizza next to cookies and milk, the West Chicago Park District hosts Slices with Santa from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, in the ARC, 201 W. National St. The drop-in event includes pizza, crafts, and a visit with Santa. The charge is $10 for residents, $12 for non-residents, if preregistered. The charge at the door is $12 for residents, $14 for non-residents. Both adults and children must be registered. Register at we-goparks.org/special-events.. https://merleburl.com
SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES
- Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, hosts a family Gingerbread House Making Contest from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. It is free for children age 3 to 15 with prizes for first, second and third place. Free cookies and hot cocoa are served. Seating and supplies are limited; there is only one house per family. To make a reservation call 630 293-2700 and talk to a manager. https://merleburl.com
- Prairie Landing Golf Club, 2325 Longest Drive, holds a Holiday Craft event at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. The charge for adults is $25, which includes a heavy appetizer buffet. The charge for children is $30, which includes holiday themed crafts and a child friendly buffet. Crafts include gingerbread houses, ornaments, reindeer theme craft and writing a Christmas wish list for Santa to give to him in person. Reservations are due by Friday, Dec. 8, and may be made by calling Michelle at 530 208-7639 or by email at Mwright@prairielanding.com. https://merleburl.com
- We Grow Greenhouse and Garden Center, 1055 W. Washington St., holds its Holiday Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. Fresh evergreen and holiday decor is available now; the expo is like the icing on the cake. https://merleburl.com
The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County's "COVID-19 Dashboard" is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, Nov 27, 2023, there were 12,332 cases and 67 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of James “Pate” Phillip, who at the age of 93 passed away Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Joan Vander Molen, who at the age of 98 passed away Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Michael “Mike” Mueller, who at the age of 79 passed away Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Catherine Rzeszotarski (nee Zarate), who at the age of 95 passed away Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
- Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family Timothy Allen Liberg, who at the age of 72 passed away Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of David Lee Todd, who at the age of 87, passed away Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.
- Maurice McDavid, principal of Turner School, recently received a service award from his alma mater, Knox College. The Knox Service Award, established in 1987, is given to members of the Knox community in recognition of outstanding volunteer service benefiting Knox College. McDavid graduated in 2010, majoring in Educational Studies. He is assistant pastor at the United Pentecostal Church of DeKalb. In addition, he is the founder of Culture, Identity, and Multilingual Advocacy of Illinois. He has served Knox in many capacities. Maurice continues to promote Knox and Knox athletics to prospective students and has worked with athletics staff, coaches, and students about race relations and social justice. https://merleburl.com
- New Hope United Methodist Church holds its annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. On the menu are pancakes, sausage and a choice of juice or coffee. The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and children under the age of 12 and $20 for families with two adults and three or more children under age 12. Photos with Santa are available for a small charge. All proceeds benefit Neighborhood Food Pantry at 123 Fremont St. For further information or to purchase tickets in advance, call 630 231-3344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To begin the Advent season, St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 W.Washington St., celebrates with the Hanging of the Greens in the sanctuary and decorates the Chrismon Tree at its 10 a.m.a.m. worship service Sunday, Dec. 3 2023. Chrismon is a combination of two words, Christ and monograms. The different monograms include the Crosses, the Symbols and the Parables, with the colors of gold and white; some are beaded.
- To “ring” in the Advent season, Resurrection Catholic Church, 39W350 Army Trail Road in Wayne, has a special viewing of “The Shepherd.” It takes place in Marvin Hall; refreshments are served. https://merleburl.com
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTS
- West Chicago residents Rebecca Allison, Carol Bolt and Louise Handel, members of the DuPage Chorale, perform in the DuPage Chorale and DuPage Chorale Orchestra Concert, “In Time of War, A Prayer for Peace.” It takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in the Belushi Performance Hall in the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. The director is Patrick O’Shea; accompanist is William Buhr. The ticket price is $17 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and $7for youth. Tickets can be ordered at https://www.atthemac.org/events/dupage-chorale-dec3/. The repertoire includes “Paukenmesse, Mass in Time of War” by Joseph Haydn, “Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina” by Giovanni Battista Martini, “Verleuih' uns Frieden gnadiglich” by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and “The Lord is My Shepherd” by.John Rutter. For further information, call 630 942-4000 or email org,
- Real Concerts with West Chicago resident Jake Muzzy playing the cello and friends perform a chamber music concert, “Christmas Paradoxes – Songs of Longing and Hope,” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at Faith Community Church, 910 Main St. There is a pay what you want with a request for a one dollar minimum.
- West Chicago Fire Protection District Lieutenant Michael Buenrostro, Jr. recently graduated and received his Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration.
- Mexican Cultural Center DuPage presented Sara Phalen, past MCCD board member, with the "Vanguardia" Award 2023. It serves as a testament to her exceptional contributions and leadership, not only within West Chicago, but also in the broader Latino community. https://merleburl.com
- The Kane Repertory actors read “Questioning a Suspect,” a one act play by West Chicago resident Susan Wells. It took place Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, at the Hunt House in St. Charles. Wells said, “The Kane Repertory actors were outstanding, such talent! I loved the emotions and humor! They really brought our writing to life. This was truly a gift.”
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 Auxiliary is making tamales for the holiday season. The cost is $30 per dozen. The three varieties are Pork in Red Sauce, Chicken in Green Sauce and Poblano and Cheese. The tamales are freshly prepared and then frozen. Pick up dates are from 6 to 8 p.m.Friday, Dec. 22, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023. Prepayment required by Sunday, Dec. 3To place an order or for more information, email Krista_Lopez@sbcglobal.net. . https://merleburl.com
- Beadedpinktopia holds its third annual Santa Paws Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Zone 250 at Reed Keppler Park, 250 W. National St. There are more than 80 crafters, plus a 50/50raffle. Proceeds benefit Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy. As Chicagoland’s oldest and largest animal assisted therapy organization, it works with trained, registered therapy dogs to help people improve their quality of life. https://merleburl.com
- Christmas at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, opens Friday, Dec. 1, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023. Hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays, with extended hours on weekends and for ice skating. The celebration includes Robert R. McCormick House tour, ice skating and a holiday light show. A 20 foot Christmas tree is in Freedom Hall in the McCormick House, open for the first time since 2020. Persons can rent skates or bring their own to skate on 100 by 40 foot ice rink. Pop-up activities and attractions include musical performances, a cookie and hot chocolate station, gift shopping, and visits from Santa Claus Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3, and favorite holiday characters. For additional information and ticketing, visit cantigy.org.
- In conjunction with the Christmas at Cantigny event, the Friends of the West Chicago Parks Foundation seeks volunteers to be greeters. The foundation’s shift is from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. All volunteers must be 16 or over. The Foundation’s goal is to have 25 volunteers; Cantigny then will grant $5,000 to the foundation for the District programs. To volunteer, visit https://tinyurl.com/WC-hero.
WEST CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
- West Chicago Police Department once again is collecting toys for the US Marines Toys for Tots Foundation program. The ages are from infant through 16 years of age. Drop off locations for the new, unwrapped toys are West Chicago Police Department, 325 Spencer St.; Wett Car Wash, 193 W. North Ave.; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 N. Neltnor Blvd.; American Legion Post 300, 123 Main St.; The Bunker Bar & Grill, 216 Main St.; and Haggerty Ford, 330 E. Roosevelt Road. Deadline is Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, https://merleburl.com
CITY OF WEST CHICAGO
- As Intergal Construction makes improvements to the sanitary sewer system in the area, traffic impacts and lane restrictions now begins Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at the intersection of Main Street and Wilson Avenue. Completion date is anticipated to be mid-December. The improvements consist of the replacement of 1,000 linear feet of sanitary forcemain and the installation of a new gravity sewer, which is part of the City”s Sanitary Lift Station #5 Replacement Project
- The City of West Chicago free recycling for the holiday lights and extension cords continues through Friday, January 19, 2024. The offer is open to residents, businesses, clubs, churches and organizations. Drop-off locations are City Hall, 475 Main St.;New Hope United Methodist Church, by east exterior door at 643 E. Washington St.; Murphy Ace Hardware, 319 S. Neltnor Blvd; Water Treatment Plant, 1400 W. Hawthorne Lane; West Chicago Public Library District, 118 W. Washington St.; and the ARC Center, 201 W. National St. The West Chicago Environmental Commission coordinates the program with Groot Industries. https://merleburl.com
ODDS AND ENDS
- Molly Dean, executive director WeGo Together for Kids, said she is seeing a higher need than ever of winter coats, hats and mittens. “I’ve received requests from more than 300 families.” She added, “Even with amazing donations from the community and a grant from the West Chicago Park Foundation, we cannot meet the need.” Acie Boyd, president of the Foundation said, “In our partnership with WeGo Together Kids in the Spring Coat Drive, we collected 192 coats at the District 33 schools, the ARC and St. Andrews Church. Our donation to the event was $500 to purchase new coats.”
Families in the community are struggling and will be struggling more as the weather gets colder. I encourage you to be generous…and give to a local organization looking to keep kids warm this winter.” The Clothes Closet in the Rockwell Building at St, Michael’s United Church of Christ, 108 Church Sherman St., accepts donations. Persons can leave donations by the door, if no one is in the building. The Clothes Close is open the second Saturday of each month.
- The eyes and hands were working quickly to beat the clock set for a two-hour limit at the West Chicago Park District Puzzle Pursuit for family and adults. In the family category, Jigsaw won First Place, finishing in 33minutes and two seconds. Roman Warriors took Second Place with 59 minutes and 58 seconds. Coming in third were Republic Bank with the time of one hour, 23 minutes and two seconds. In the adult category, Brady Ladies won with the time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 28 seconds. The 4 Best Friends took second place with one hour, 52 minutes and 10 seconds. Coming in third were Getting Jiggy with 2 hours, 8 minutes and 40 seconds. Participants pieced together a custom puzzle of the Turtle Splash Water Park , which they kept. to take home. Republic Bank sponsored the event. https://merleburl.com
- S. News and World Report named the Kenneth Moy DuPage Care Center as a top nursing home. The publication listed the Care center as high performing for short-term rehabilitative and long-term care. Per a news release, only three percent of nursing homes nationwide receive both designations. The Kenneth Moy DuPage County Care Center has more than 300 residents and provides skilled care, long-term care and Alzheimer's care
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