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. Even better, this year there are some new and fun activities.
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, Frosty, City Council members riding in a horse-drawn wagon, Mayor Ruben Pineda and the student raffle winners, Blue Frost Heating & Cooling and Santa and Mrs. Claus on a West Chicago Fire Protection district engine.
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 11th year KTS has either donated a tree and/or decorated the tree. Students from the high school decorated the snow globe ornaments. Filling the air with songs are the Gary School Choir and the West Chicago Community High School A Capella Choir. Members of First United Methodist Church of West Chicago carol at various locations in the downtown area. Also at this location aldermen and volunteers help pass out Snowman 3d glasses.
After this, the doors to the community center open, where holiday crafters have gifts or decorations for the holidays. Another place to find gifts and holiday decor is at Gallery 200, 103 W, Washington St. Thirteen artists participate in the “Small Gifts of Art” exhibit
The American Legion Post 300 hall, 123 Main Street, is a hub of musical performances. The performers are Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School, Leman Mariachi, School District 33 Ballet Folklorico and Leman Middle School Choir.
At Republic Bank, 101 Main Street, Santa and Mrs. Claus welcome children for visits to hear their Christmas wishes. Persons can enjoy the popcorn served by the West Chicago Lions Club and hot chocolate served by the West Chicago Rotary Club. Also the Snowflake project takes place.
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. New this year is the live alpacas, who captivate the hearts of adults and children. 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. An inflatable snow globe provides fun and a great photo opportunity. Blue Frost Heating & Cooling host a free glove give away.
For those who want some extra nourishment as they enjoy Frosty Fest, there are food trucks. These include Humita, Tamale Express, Kissed by Fire, Stix & Noodles, La India and Joey’s Red Hots. Also most of the restaurants are open.
The West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main St., again has an historic scavenger hunt and a photo drop.
A new area of activity is the heated tent. For those wanting a little extra exercise, the Frosty Fest Fun Walk is perfect. WeGo Together for Kids sponsors face painting. With assistance from West Chicago Park District staff, children and adults can have a crafty time, creating ornaments and more.
As the evening ends, all can return home with the magical memories of Frosty Fest 2022 dancing in their heads. (www.merleburl.com)
For full information of activities, view https://westchicago.org/frosty-fest/
AROUND AND ABOUT
- The City of West Chicago free recycling for the holiday lights and extension cords continues through through Friday, January 19, 2023. The offer is open to residents, businesses, clubs, churches and organizations. Drop-off locations are City Hall, 475 Main St.; First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, by 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. The amount collected in 2020 was 688 pounds.Since the programs tarted in 2013, the amount collected is 9,383 pounds.
- To gather community input regarding the community park development at the Kerr-McGee property, the City of West Chicago and its consultant, Upland Design, host a community input meeting at City Hall, 475 Main St. The meeting is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 30, 2022. During the meeting, residents can provide their input on different ideas and images presented by the City’s consultant as well as vote on their favorite park elements. For more information about the Kerr-McGee property, visit the City’s website, https://westchicago.org/.
- The City of West Chicago holds a Public Information Meeting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at City Hall, 475 Main S. It concerns proposed improvements to the section of Town Road between Roosevelt Road and Washington Street. City representatives also address topics such as the need for the project, the design alternatives under consideration, right-of-way acquisition, and the tentative construction schedule. Preliminary reports, drawings, maps, and aerial photography, are available for inspection and viewing during the entire time of the public meeting.
- West Chicago Public Library, 118 w. Washington St., hosts Holidays In Who-Ville Holiday Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. There are activities, entertainment and refreshments for adults and children, some involving the Grinch. Refreshments include hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and fruit and cheese platters.
At 5:30 p.m. there is storytime, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss in the youth services department. The West Chicago Community High School A Cappella Choir perform at 6 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony and a vey special guest appearance takes place at 6:30 p.m. Some strange hairstyles are seen in the Who+Ville Hair contest at 7:30 p.m.
First floor activities include carnival games, bingo and holiday crafts. Taking place on the second floor are ornament crafts letters to Santa and paper wreath craft. (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, Marge Hall, Blue Kubica, Kathi Kuchler, Sharon Malec, Owen O’Reilly, Tom Bright, Laurie Parker, Britta Renwick, StarlaSnead, Sue Tripp and Marita Valdizan. The artwork of the 13 featured artists is perfect for holiday gifts, plus reasonably priced. The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 . The gallery also will be open during Frosty Fest.
- First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St., hosts Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and #3 for children age 12 and under, for families the 2 adults and two or more children age 12 and under, the price is $20. (https://merleburl.com)
- Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, celebrates an 1890s Christmas from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4, 2022. Attendees help decorate the farm by stringing popcorn and twisting greenery, and join staff and volunteers around the fire to mull cider and enjoy some sweet treats. At the visitors center, there is the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. The event is free, registration is not required.
- The Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny Park continues its Headlines from History series with a presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, 2022, at the Cantigny Park,1S151 Winfield Road, or online via Zoom. Those needing a Zoom link must register in advance at org. There is a $5 parking fee.
Bruce Watson, author of “The Man Who Changed How Boys and Toys Were Made,” presents the program, “The Toy That Built America..” He explains how A. C. Gilbert, a marketing genius, abandoned his Yale medical degree to become a lifelong boy at play in the world of toy manufacturing. Watson was recently on the History Channel’s “Toys that Built America,”
From 1913 to the 1960s, the Erector Set, the boy-centric construction toy was a Christmas morning staple. The man who invented it, A.C. Gilbert, became a household name by creating a world of contests, camaraderie, and boyish advice that nurtured millions of American kids. For a time, the A.C. Gilbert Company was among the largest toy manufacturers in the world. (https://merleburl.com)
- The West Chicago Park District monthly social gathering for senior citizens is the Holiday Celebration at noon Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at the ARC, 201 W. National St.The charge is $15. Reservations are due by Friday, Dec. 2, and may be made at we-goparks.org/adult-programs, To add to the holiday fun, guests bring a wrapped gift worth no more than $5.
- The West Chicago Community High School Choral Concert is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in the auditorium, 326 Joliet St. Brandon Fantozzi is the director. A live stream of the concert will also be available on the West Chicago Wildcat Athletics Youtube Page, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIQy6Np-L45BGQLWXVP1SjQ.
- National Honor Society at West Chicago Community High School hosts Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022., in the Commons, 326 Joliet St., Entrance H. The charge is $5 per person. The breakfast menu is all-you-can eat pancakes, baked gods, coffee and tea.. Children meet Santa, send letters to the North Pole, make crafts and play games. There also are gems and activities for adults. (https://merleburl.com)
- We Grow Dreams Greenhouse & Garden Center, 1055 W. Washington St., hosts its annual Holiday Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Poinsettias, table top reindeer, holiday decorations, gnomes, plus vendors with holiday items are available. (https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Park District hosts the North Pole Adventure Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, 2022. Train departures are from the Metra station, 508 Main St. Train 1 departs at 1:15 p.m and Train 2 departs at 5:15 p.m., The cost per person is $22 for residents and $26 for non residents. A parent or guardian myst accompany children. Pre-registration is required.. Activities on the train include music, stories, snacks and some surprises, plus Santa visits, giving each child a special gift. To register, visit https://www.we-goparks.org/special-events, (https://merleburl.com)
- The West Chicago Public Library Saturday Crafternoon program is at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in the main program room, 118 W. Washington St. Participants make holiday party favors or small tokens of appreciation for carolers and neighbors To make a reservation, visit https://wcpld.info/, under calendar.
- American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 host the Holiday Celebration for the Community Saturday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 N. Neltnor Blvd. The VFW is organizing the party, which is open to the public. Doors open at 5 m.; dinner is at 6 p.m. The ticket price is $20 per person. Tickets are available at the Legion, 123 Main St., and the VFW.. There are prizes, plus games and fun following dinner.
SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES
- Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, once again is offering Painting & Potables at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The charge os $35 for a holiday drink set, with two wine glasses of two beer mugs to paint. Attendees also receive one free glass of wine or one free draft beer. All supplies are included. A professional artist instructor gives the guiding steps Registration deadline is Monday, Dec. 12, and may be made at https://www.hawthornesbackyard.com/upcoming-events. A portion of the proceeds benefit the restaurant’sAnnual Stocking Fundraiser. (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. 28, 2022 2022, there were 10,980 cases and 65 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Miguel Angel Cruz, who at the age of 33 passed away Sunday, Nov, 20, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Mark J. Helminiak, who at the age of 75 passed away Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Ronald W. Stengler, who at the age of 86 passed away Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of James Andrew Opaczewsk, who at the age of 80 passed away Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.
- Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of El Suave Francisco Aguilar, who passed away Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Ruth Fawell, who at the age of 82 passed away Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Tibor Halasz, who at the age of 89 passed away Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Jean Jeschke, who at the age of 77 passed away, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Jose Raul Guerrero, who at the age of 67 passed away Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
- The Music Department at West Chicago Community High School hosted music students from Leman Middle School and Winfield Central School Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. Students participated in clinics with professional musicians, rehearsals, a WeGo student panel, building tours, community building, and performances. (https://merleburl.com)
- 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 9:30 a.m. worship service Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. 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.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTS
- Maggie Capettini, former education director at West Chicago City Museum. has a solo exhibit during the month of December at Flyleaf Bakery Cafe, 10 S. Batavia Ave. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Also her painting, “January 19,” won Best In Show at he LaGrange Art League. The exhibit continues through the end of December,
- West Chicago resident Tom Knutson was one of the October photo contest winners in the Daily Herat. It was his photograph of when he was staying at Johnstone Canyon Campground near Banff, Alberta.
WEST CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The West Chicago Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an Armed Robbery suspect. At approximately 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, the Police responded to the Dollar General located at 910 N. Neltnor Blvd. for an armed robbery that had just occurred. The suspect was described as a male Hispanic between the ages of 18 and 30, dressed all in black.Persons with information should call the Investigation Unit at 630-293-2222. Anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the suspect will receive a monetary reward. To view the photo of the suspect, visit https://www.facebook.com/westchicagopolicedepartment/
- Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, there was a police presence in the area of Klein Road, between Army Trail Road and North Avenue, West Chicago Officers assisted another agency with an investigation.
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