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 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018, in the historic downtown district.
Pre-fest events include the Holiday Open House, the Yule Ball from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the West Chicago Public Library and the “Small Gifts of Art” exhibit from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Gallery 200 Friday, November 30, 2018. (Full details on these two events and the 5K Run are elsewhere in the column.)
An early morning start to the day begins with the Frosty Fest 5K Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Frosty Fest procession steps off at 4:00 p.m. from the eastern entrance to the Metra parking lot next to La Michoacana Ice Cream left on Main Street, right at Center Street, left at High Street, left at Galena Street, left on Main Street and proceeds to the Fox Community Center, 306 Main Street, the official site of the community tree lighting. Participants are the West Chicago Police Department and Honor Guard, West Chicago Fire Protection District, Frosty, gingerbread man, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, Lions Club train and City Council members riding in a horse-drawn wagon. Mayor Ruben Pineda, his wife Julie and the essay contest winners ride in the horse-drawn carriage. Essay winners are Sophie George, Second Grade, Natalie Pasillas, Third Grade and Yolitzin Martinez, Sixth Grade. Riding in the fire district’s ladder truck are Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The mayor and winners of the essay 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. Following the tree lighting, music fills the air with songs by the choirs from West Chicago Community High School, and Gary School. After this, the doors to the community center open to the headquarters of Santa and Mrs. Claus. The American Legion Post 300 hall, 123 Main Street, is a hub of activity. Members of the West Chicago Police Department serve cotton candy. Also Kindred Coffee is on hand with the hot beverage. Cookies with Flavor Food Truck offers some sweet treats. It was the winner of the best sweets during West Chicago Food Fest. The popular cookie decorating activity provides a creative and tasty touch, plus contributes to a worthy cause. The requested donation of one dollar benefits the Neighborhood Food Pantry located at Crossroads Restoration Church. FNBC Bank & Trust matches the donations. West Chicago Park District craft projects include Christmas wreaths, wooden ornaments, spin art cards, and stocking, snowman and reindeer fuse bead ornaments. There are two dance performances by District 33 Ballet Folklorico, one at 5:15 p.m. and the other at 5:45 p.m.
At Republic Bank, 101 Main Street, the creative “gingerbread houses” made at the Methodist Church event are on display. While viewing, persons can enjoy the popcorn served by the West Chicago Lions Club and hot chocolate served by the West Chicago Rotary Club. The West Chicago Kiwanis Club has a raffle for two-six-feet pre-lit trees.
Drawing on the creative aspect, the “Small Gifts of Art” exhibit is at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Nadine Buck demonstrates her rosemal painting skills. Starla Snead has a holiday ornament Make N’ Take; the charge is $10. Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School performs at 5:30 p.m.
Creativity, combined with some history, is part of the scene at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street. An old fashioned candle made from paper is the craft project. The exhibit is “Building Community: The History of West Chicago.”
Twinkling lights cast the perfect glow on the outside activities for guests to hear Christmas music sung by the choir from the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago under the direction of Ron Benner, play on the iceless curling rink and to watch the renowned ice sculptor Joe Gagnepain portray his artistic talent using his chainsaw as a paintbrush to create a holiday masterpiece. Capturing the old-fashioned charm of the community, horse-drawn wagon rides travel on a luminaria-lit route in the nearby historical residential neighborhood, starting at Galena and Main streets.
As the evening ends, all can return home with the magical memories of Frosty Fest 2018 dancing in their heads.
AROUND AND ABOUT
The Holiday Band Concert of West Chicago Community High School is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 29, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. James Wallace is the director. Although most of the music is Christmas-themed, there are two non-holiday highlights, “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini and “English Folk Song Suite,” a landmark composition for band by Ralph-Vaughan-Williams. Christmas music includes “Greensleeves,” “ I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “ The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Silver Bells,” “It’s beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson.
West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street, hosts its annual Holiday Open House from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, November 30, 2018. This year, it is the Yule Ball, with a Henry Potter theme with magical decorations arrayed on first and second floors. The wizardly refreshments include butterbeer and chocolate frogs. There is even space for guests to dance to recorded music. Other activities include a trivia contest, Marauder’s map scavenger hunt and crafts for adults and children. The Leman Middle School String Ensemble performs at 6:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes, but any type dress attire is welcome. Attendees in costume receive a Harry Potter pin. There even is a Goblet of Fire Tri-wizard Cup Drawing for all ages in the Youth Department; persons do not need to be present to win. (www.merleburl.com)
“Small Gifts of Art’ is the exhibit at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street, for the month of December. The artwork of the 15 featured artists is perfect for holiday gifts, plus reasonably priced. The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, November 30, 2018.
Participating artists are First Star Art by jrr & jammer, whimsical Art, stocking stuffers, puppets, totes, greeting cards and gift tags; Marge Hall, ornaments, knitted scarves and jewelry; Kathi Kuchler, jewelry, prints and felted scarves; Judith Horsley, fun framed photography; Sharon Malec, fiber artist with quilting, felting, crochet, spinning and weaving; Heide Morris, knit wear, ankle warmers, hand warmers, headbands, ceramic pieces, and beaded utensils; Britta Renwick, jewelry, photography, mixed media and wine cork key chains; Starla Snead, calligraphy, engraving, and passion stones; and Sue Tripp, fused glass art, including small dishes, jewelry, dreamcatchers, and ornaments.
Others are Victoria Burris, butterfly inspired art; Nadine Buck, jewelry; Beth Golan, mosaic art;Kathy Manning, small Giclee watercolor prints and winter cards; Susan Frost, beaded jewelry and Marita Valdizan, wire crochet ornaments and jewelry. Gallery hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, noon to 8:00 p.m. Friday, and from noon to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Furnace Christmas Show of Wheaton Academy is at 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 30, 2018, in the White Chapel, 900 North Prince Crossing Road.
The 2018 Frosty Fest 5K Run/Walk Packet pick-up and registration is at 7:30 p.m. and the race begins at 8:30 a.m. The free Kids Fun Walk, a 200-yard dash down Turner Court for children age 10 and under, begins at approximately 9:30 a.m. Age groups are 10 and under, 11 to 14, 15 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69 and 70 and over. The top three overall male and female participants receive awards, plus the top three males and females in each age category receive awards. The fee is $25 for residents, $30 for non-residents; $5 for student residents and $10 for student non-residents. Kids Fun Run participants receive a finisher’s ribbon. There is a prize for an adult and a youth wearing the best costume for the race. For further information, call Special Events Coordinator Bethany Bayci at (630) 293-2200, extension 176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, holds its ninth annual Cookie Bazaar from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018. The cost is $9 for a one-pound box and $17 for a two-pound box of cookies. A portion of the proceeds benefits Neighborhood Food Pantry on the campus of Real Life Church, 525 North Neltnor Boulevard. Also Santa is at the event for pictures. For further information, call the church office at (630) 231-3787. (www.merleburl.com)
The Station, the youth group at First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, hosts its sixth annual Christmas Candy Cottage Workshop from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the church, 643 East Washington Street. Families make a “house” to take home. The $10 charge per house includes graham crackers, frosting and candy. For further information, call the church at (630) 231-3344 or visit www.firstumcucc.org.entertainment, ice sculpture carving and refreshments
The artwork of Maggie Capettini, education director at West Chicago City Museum, is featured in several exhibits. The oil painting, “Be Still,” is on display in the national exhibit at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, New York. The exhibit runs from Saturday, December 1, 2018 through Friday, January 4, 2019. The painting features a Buddha from her collection. Now through Monday, December 31, 2018, three of her paintings, including “Snow, Twilight,” are on exhibit at the La Grange Art League, 122 Calendar. Four of her paintings are part of a group exhibit at Northbrook Historical Society, 1776 Walters Ave, Northbrook. This exhibit includes many of the works from Northbrook Paint the Town 2018 Plein Air Painting Festival. From Sunday, December 2, 2018 through Friday, January 4, 2019, “Lily Pond” is on exhibit at the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild Gallery at Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 South Cottage Hill Avenue. This knife painting features the lily pond in the Children’s Garden at The Morton Arboretum. (www.merleburl.com)
To begin the Advent season, St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street, celebrates with the Hanging of the Greens in the sanctuary and decorates the Chrismon Tree at its 9:30 a.m. worship service Sunday, December 2, 2018. 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.
The Holiday Choral Concert of West Chicago Community High School takes place at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 2, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Performing are the Mixed Chorus, Women’s Chorale, Honors A Cappella Chamber Choir and the Concert Choir. Brandon Fantozzi is the director.
Gallery Theater, 129 Main Street, holds auditions for “Harvey” by Mary Chase from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, December 2, 2018 and from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, December 3, 2018. To schedule appointments, e-mail email@example.com. Monologues are not required. Audition sides from the script are provided when audition appointment is confirmed. Walk-ins welcome as time permits. The play runs three weekends, February 15, 16 and 17, 2019 ; February 22, 23 and 24, 2019; and March 1, 2, and 3, 2019. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances are at 3:00 p.m. The director is Jack Smith.
A timeless comedy classic, this is the story of Elwood P. Dowd and his friend Harvey, an invisible six-and-a-half-foot rabbit. Set in the 1940s, as is the case with many classics, the messages it delivers are timeless. The cast consists of 12 performers.
Elwood P. Dowd, 40s-50s, an extremely accepting person who enjoys everything about life.
His best friend is Harvey, an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit.
Veta Louise Simmons, 50s-60s, Elwood’s sister, who is embarrassed by Elwood and his friend Harvey.
Myrtle Mae Simmons, 20s-30s, daughter of Veta and niece of Elwood.
Ethel Chauvenet, 60s-70s, an old friend of the family and a distinguished member of the town’s social circle.
Dr. William B. Chumley, 50s-60s, an esteemed psychiatrist and the head of the sanitarium.
Betty Chumley, 50s-60s, his wife who is more concerned with socializing than with science.
Judge Omar Gaffney, 50 plus, a family friend of the Dowd’s.
Dr. Lyman Sanderson, 20s-30s, a highly qualified psychiatrist who was hand-picked by Dr. Chumley.
Wilson, 20s-40s, the orderly at Chumley’s Rest, who has a tendency to be a bit impatient.
1 Ruth Kelly, 20s–30s, the nurse at the sanitarium who befriends Elwood.
- J. Lofgren, any age, a cab driver who has seen it all.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens, 27W031 North Avenue. Not only do seniors learn basic skills, but also have the opportunity to socialize. The fee is $2. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166. Beginner classes are at 1:00 p.m. Tuesdays. “Uploading Pictures to Facebook” class is at 4:00 p.m. Monday, December 3, 2018.
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 has three groups presenting at the 42nd annual conference for Teachers of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students that takes place from Tuesday, December 4, through Friday, December 7, 2018. The groups participating are The Ballet Folklorico, Los Mariachis “Los Rayos,” and Latinos in Action. Teachers share information on how to begin these student groups and the benefits associated with student participation. Teachers and staff representing District 33 include Pilar Rocha, Maribel Rivera, Janet Sikma, Brad Rathe, Alexia Garcia, Rocio Fisher, Sal Tamayo and Humberto Ayala.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 338 George Street, honors the Advent season with soup suppers at 6:00 p.m. followed by advent services at 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays, December 5, 12 and 19, 2018.
People Made Visible hosts a Community Forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing. Mayor Ruben Pineda, Police Chief Mike Uplegger and representatives from Community High School District 94 and West Chicago Elementary School District 33 discuss recent crime, crime prevention measures, and community programs to respond and prevent crime in West Chicago. The forum will be bilingual in English and Spanish. Persons can ask questions during the forum or submit questions before the forum by posting on the Facebook event, sending People Made Visible a Facebook message, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a voicemail for People Made Visible at (630) 473-0268. Light refreshments are served; childcare is available.
West Chicago Public Library District has a Making Holiday Material Wreaths program at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018, in the main meeting room, 118 West Washington Street. Attendees create a decorative holiday wreath using a frame and fabric. Supplies are furnished. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics Club basketball game is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at Glenbard North, 990 Kuhn Road in Carol Stream.
As part of First Fridays in West Chicago, the City Museum, 132 Main Street, hosts a Candlelight Christmas during its Late Night at the City Museum from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, December 7, 2018. Attendees can enjoy historic traditions and refreshments by candlelight. A silhouette artist is on hand to produce silhouettes for guests who have made a reservation, which can be made by email email@example.com or calling (630) 231-3376. The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum hold its annual meeting at 8:00 p.m.
The United Methodist Men and Women host the 19th annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, at the church, 643 East Washington Street. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, and beverage. The ticket price is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for children age 12 and under, and $20 for a family of two adults and three or more children. Pictures with Santa are $5. This is a wonderful tradition for families, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and/or a group of friends. Proceeds benefit the Neighborhood Food Pantry on the campus of Real Life Church. Tickets may be purchased at the door or call the church office at (630) 231-3344. (www.merleburl.com)
We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center, 1055 West Washington Street, hosts its annual Open House from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018. Items for sale include the unique table top reindeer, poinsettias, Christmas planters, house plants and succulents and home crafts fashioned by the team members. Refreshments are served. Orders for table top reindeer need to be placed by Sunday, December 9, by calling (630) 231-0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of an experience at his job three years ago, Marcus Alaniz, former West Chicago resident, started a foundation, “Bring Joy and Toys with Marcus,” choosing a different group each year to be the recipient. This year he selected West Chicago. He is the grandson of West Chicago resident Linda Alaniz. His parents are Andrew and Isela Alaniz. He is collecting toy donations at different businesses in the town where he now lives and will distribute them to children and families in need from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard. To receive toys, families need to register by Thursday, December 6, by texting (331) 725-8169 or emailing email@example.com. Persons knowing a family that needs assistance can also register for the family.
This is Marcus’ story as told by his father. “Marcus is a 19-year-old young man who started his own foundation at the age of 17. One day, while working as a cashier at Target, Marcus was approached by a little girl who was trying to pay for a toy. As Marcus looked at her he could see that she was suffering from a medical illness. The little girl appeared to be frail and had patches of hair missing. As Marcus rang up her toy she handed Marcus her money; however, she didn’t have enough to pay for her toy. Marcus could see the disappointment and sadness on her face when he gave her the total. Marcus decided to pay for the little girl’s toy instead of turning her away. Marcus came home that evening, and with tears in his eyes, told his mother and I what happened. From that moment on, Marcus began collecting toys for children and families in need.”
The first year, toys were donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Central DuPage Hospital and the second year to Shining Light.
The Eleventh Annual Holiday Celebration for the Community, sponsored by American Legion Post 300 and Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 6791, is Saturday, December 8, 2018, at VFW hall, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner, catered by Pal Joey’s, at 7:00 p.m. Providing the entertainment is a DJ. Door prizes and raffles add to the fun of the evening. Cash only bar. The VFW is the organizer this year.
Ticket price is $15. Purchase tickets in advance at the VFW or the Legion, 123 Main Street. The event is open to the public. For further information call (630) 231-9823.
West Chicago Park District monthly social activity for senior citizens is at noon Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the ARC, 201 National Street. For the holiday celebration, the District provides ham, whipped sweet potatoes, roasted root vegetables with balsamic and honey, steamed corn with butter and dinner rolls. Guests bring a $5 or under gift, wrapped in holiday wrappings for the gift exchange. Guests also can bring a holiday dessert, if they wish. The charge is $11 for residents and $13 for non-residents. Reservations are due by Thursday, December 6, 2018 and may be made online at www.we-goparks.org or in person at the ARC. (www.merleburl.com)
The Friends of the City Museum 2018 ornaments now are available at the City Museum. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Indian Knoll Elementary School and the 25th Anniversary of the West Chicago Public Library’s building at 118 West Washington Street, the ornaments are the latest installments to the Historic West Chicago Ornament Series. The price is $9. They are available at the City Museum, 132 Main Street; hours are from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fridays. They also are available at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. Hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 8:00 p.m. Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 4:00 p.m. Sundays.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Charles “Charlie” John Madden, who at the age of 69 passed away Sunday, November 20, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Jennifer Hahs Wall, who at the age of 36 passed away Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
David Pater, currently the Director of Student Services for Community High School District 94, was selected to replace Doug Mullaney as Athletic Director at West Chicago Community High School, effective July 1, 2019, upon Mullaney’s retirement. A 2002 graduate of West Chicago Community High School, Pater has held many roles in the District during his career. Prior to being named Director of Student Services in 2016, Pater served as a Dean for five years, and held coaching positions in both football as Offensive Coordinator and lacrosse as Head Coach. When he was a student at WCCHS, Pater was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball.
Prior to his tenure in District 94, Pater taught Physical Education in Elgin District U-46. His undergraduate degree is from Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he also played lacrosse all four years. He received his graduate degree in Administration from Concordia University in Chicago. (www.merleburl.com)
As of Thursday, November 22, 2018, Michael Guttman has been City Administrator of West Chicago for 20 years.
At the meeting Monday, November 21, 2018, City Council approved a special use for RFS Group to operate a cartage and freight facility with ancillary truck repair at 1450 W North Avenue. The business currently operates in Bensenville, hauls dry freight throughout the Midwest and eastern United States and has 20 drivers. There will be 15 office staff.
Also approved was a special use amendment for West Chicago Community High school and a fence variance. The high school plans to build a second story on the single portion of the school and enhance the existing entrances on the west side of the building.
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