Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, a time for conversation, dining, laughing and getting together with family and friends. The meals can include traditional turkey and sides and/or a smorgasbord of food from different countries. Take the time to be thankful for different aspects of your life, rather small or large.
AROUND AND ABOUT
- The City of West Chicago free recycling for the holiday lights and extension cords begins Friday, Nov. 24, 2023 and continues throughFriday, 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. The amount collected in 2022 was 1,293 pounds. https://merleburl.com
- The West Chicago Public Library Gettin’ Crafty program, “Gift Tags,” is at 7 p.m.Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in the main meeting room, 118 W. Washington St. Attendees use washi tape, stickers, buttons, and more to create unique, handmade tags. To register, visit https://wcpld.info, under calendar.
- 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 and refreshments for adults and children. Refreshments include hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.(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 will be open during Frosty Fest. (https://merleburl.com)
- Frosty Fest takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in the historic downtown district. It features the Procession and Tree Lighting Ceremony along with food, live music, craft show and activities for all ages. Guests can also enjoy some hot chocolate as they welcome the event’s special guests, Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with some of their furry friends. For full information of activities, view https://westchicago.org/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.
- 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 6p.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/ .Space is limited.
- 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 specials 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 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. 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.. Tickets are available at the Legion There are prizes and entertainment following dinner. For further information or to reserve tickets, call 630 231-2112. https://merleburl.com
SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES
- Starting Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, the artwork of local designer Emily Velazquez is on display at Kindred Coffee Roasters, 148 W. Washington St. She designed the new look on the coffee bags at Kindred. Velazquez is a graphic designer, illustrator, and crafter of many things. “I have a passion for logo design and branding, and creating anything with my hands. After years of being an artist and working on her skills, she launched this brand, EV Creative, in June 2020. To see and order some of her creative artwork, visit com
Kindred Coffee Roasters celebrates its 10th year in business. Sarah and Patrick Harms, and Ryan Hammer, started selling freshly roasted coffees on line in the winter of 2013. For a few years, they opened on some Saturdays at the location at 100 Arbor Ave. They purchased the current building Nov. 13, 2016. After much hard work in fixing up the building, they opened the doors Jan. 14, 2018. The Holiday specials begin Friday, Nov. 24. These include two new drinks, Peppermint Mocha and Sage and Cinder Cappuccino. Seasonal baked goods are Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and Gingerbread Scones. To order coffee on line, visit https://www.kindredcoffeeroasters.com/. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. The telephone number is 630 473-0567. https://merleburl.com
- In addition to the Trail of Lights Festival at Sonny Acres Farm, 29W310 North Ave., Christmas trees, wreaths, garland roping, decorative greens, tree stands, poinsettias and holiday decorations now are available. The local area sponsors are The UPS Store and Carnicerias Jimenez. As a side note, Someone posted photographs of the light show at Sonny Acres; it looked very impressive. 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, Nov. 8, and may be made by calling Michelle at 530 208-7639 or by email at Mwright@prairielanding.com.
- Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, hosted a Juniper Music Jam and Student Benefit Concert. With the enthusiasm of the people attending, enough donations were received to buy three guitars for veterans.. Guitars for Veterans offers free guitar lessons to Veterans with PTSD and is on a mission of healing. When Veterans complete ten lessons in the program, they receive a free guitar.
- Following the theme of Frosty Fest, Coco Loco Restaurant, 205 Main St.,has created a holiday delight on its patio Definitely worth Ooh and Aah!
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 20, 2023, there were 12,317cases and 67 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of William Anthony Talz, who at the age of 72 passed away Thursday, Nov. 9, 202
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Andy Escobedo, who at the age of 73 passed away Tuesday, Nov.14, 2023.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Elton, C. Fish, who at the age of 73 passed away Monday, Nov. 13, 2023.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Edgar Valdez Ponce, who at the age of 21 passed away Monday, Nov. 13, 2023.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Curtis Joseph Romolt, who at the age of 63 passed away Nov. 18, 2023.
- Nine students from West Chicago Community High School were selected by audition for the 2023 Illinois Music Education Association District 9 Honor Festival Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Dundee-Crown High School. The students are under the direction of Brandon Fantozzi, Choir; Marissa Janiszewski, Band; and Sara Austin, Orchestra,
The students are senior Cora Garling Choir, Soprano I; sophomore Milly Mora-Zarco, Choir, Bass I; sophomore Nick Riconosciuto Choir, Bass II; senior Avery Moffatt, Choir, Alto II; sophomore Gwenneth Nika, Choir, Alto I; senior Vanessa Miguel-Garcia Vanessa, Orchestra, Violin; sophomore Jessie Myers, Band, Percussion; senior Neela Myers, Band, Flute; and senior Chase Pechman, Band Euphonium.
The students competed against more than 1,200 students in band, choir, and orchestra from DuPage, Kane and parts of Will and Kendall counties. The highly competitive auditions required students to prepare scales, etudes and/or selected excerpts of music pieces. Auditions were conducted digitally and each student had to submit a video. The state of Illinois is divided into only nine districts to which WCCHS belongs and is widely recognized as being extremely competitive. https://merleburl.com
- This year, the Shack at Wheaton Academy raised more than $1,700 to support the school’s partnership with Kids Alive Dominican Republic/Vido Para Ninos Republic Dominica. During football season, the Shack served 1,175 dinners, 1,175 hot chocolates and 776 cinnamon rolls. The business originated in a 2020 Winterim class,Business Innovation Lab, where students researched and developed a plan to address different aspects of the business. They investigated everything from food safety to vehicle options, branding and finances. At the end of the course, students pitched the business to school administration and then to a group of potential investors—Shark Tank-style. This fall, the students dreams became a reality as Wheaton Academy provided funds to purchase a food truck and start the Shack, as a student-run business. https://merleburl.com
- Alexander Bradley, a senior at West Chicago Community High School, is the Student of the Month for October. His selection is due to his academic performance and involvement in extracurricular activities. He has been on either the Honor Roll or High Honor Roll each semester, earning cumulative weighted grade point average of 4.818. He is a student ambassador and he leads the Pledge of Allegiance daily in the school.
His main extracurricular activity is with WeGo Drama. Bradley is a member of WeGo Drama, currently serving on the Executive Board; Film Club and the Speech Team where he currently serves as Captain. He received the All-conference awards for Group-Interpretation in 2022 and 2023, the All-sectional awards for Group Interpretation and Contest Play in 2023 and the All-State award for Group Interpretation in 2023. He was a State Qualifier for Drama 2021, 2022 and 2023 and for Group Interpretation 2023, Speech conference champion 2023, and sectional qualifier for speech 2023. Bradley received the First-Place exemplary rating for Illinois High School Association short film.
After graduation, Bradley plans to attend college to major in either theater or communications before pursuing a career in the arts. https://merleburl.com
- Dhanveer Gill, a senior at West Chicago Community High School, received a superior distinction, the highest ranking awarded to a high school student, in editorial writing in the fall National Student Media Contest. He was one of 1,400 competitors at the Journalism Education Association’s National Honor School Journalism Convention, held in Boston, Massachusetts. He competed in editorial writing.
Gill was one of just 92 students to place in the superior category. During the competition, he was provided with sources pertaining to a contemporary issue and then tasked to write an opinion-based piece of no more than 350 words. No additional research was permitted. Gill was rated based on his ability to craft a persuasive lead, assert a clear position, examine the opposition’s viewpoint, and follow Associated Press-style.
• Gill is currently the Assistant Managing Editor of the “Wildcat Chronicle”, the student-run publication at WCCHS. https://merleburl.com
• In the Class 4A semifinal football game Saturday, Nov. 18,2023. Wheaton Academy lost to St. Laurance High School with a score of 31-30, with two overtimes. It was the school’s first time playing in a semifinal.
- Last year a seventh grade student wrote a story about teacher Ellen Collins and made it into a book. Leman Middle School now has a copy of it in the school library. 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 email@example.com. https://merleburl.com
- AndrewLutheran Church, 155 N. Prince Crossing Road, holds a Holiday Luncheon from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. The charge is $17 per adult, $10 per child under age 12. The event includes catered food and fellowship. Reservations are due by Wednesday, Nov. 29, and can be made by calling the church office at 630 231-3787. 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 org. https://merleburl.com
- 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. https://merleburl.com
- The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum 2023 landmark ornament is the Center Pavilion at Reed-Keppler Park. The charge is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Persons can pick them up during regular hours at the City Museum, 132 Main St. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays , and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays. For local delivery or shipping, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reed-Keppler Park area was originally known as Reese’s Woods, part of the old Harvey farm. In 1934 the City of West Chicago obtained the property and established the West Chicago City Park. Over the next three years, the park was developed by the Works Progress Administration. The shelter house on the hill was one of two buildings built by the WPA, a Depression Era Federal Program. Other WPA projects included a lagoon, baseball diamond and bleachers and major landscaping. Under Mayor Walter Fawell, in 1956 the park’s name was changed to “Reed Park” after the death of Congressman Chauncey Reed, who had given the dedication address for the park in 1934 when he served as State’s Attorney. On May 20, 1971, a referendum was passed establishing a park district. Two years later the park was renamed “Reed-Keppler Park,” adding the name of Dr. John Keppler, who was a local dentist and was mayor at the time the City opened the Park. In 1973 the City leased the 88-acre Reed-Keppler Park to the newly formed West Chicago Park District.
- Girls of Today Leaders of Tomorrow and USAgain are collecting Quince Dress donations. To donate quinceañeras dresses, drop them off in the bins in the back of the warehouse, 1555 W. Hawthorne Lane, Suite 4W. At a later date, the organizations will have a Quince Dress Drive, where .girls age 14 have the opportunity to select a dress. One was held Sept. 30, 2023.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTS
- West Chicago residents Mike Fortner and Becky Hall, members of Acappellago, perform in two Christmas concerts, “Escape to Singers' Holiday Favorites.” One is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St. in Oakbrook and the second one at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 3, 2023, at the Congregational Church of Batavia, 21 S Batavia Ave,Acappellago’s special appearances include Chicago Composer’s Forum’s first John Cage’s “Musicircus” in September 2005, and singing the Star Spangled Banner for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bandits, Chicago Fire, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Steel, Kane County Cougars and Schaumburg Boomers. (merleburl.com)
- West Chicago resident Louise Handel, a member of the DuPage Chorale, performs in the DuPage 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,
CITY OF WEST CHICAGO
- Last week of free leaf pick up begins Monday, Nov. 29, 2023.
- The project of Intergal Construction making improvements to the sanitary sewer system in the area has been delayed from Nov. 17, 2023. The traffic impacts and lane restrictions now begin Monday, Dec. 4m, 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.
ODDS AND ENDS
- ARC Center, 201 W. National St., is closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23, and 24, 2023.
- As persons look at the Veterans banners, some of the Veterans Banners are located on Turner Court.
- Attending the monthly social, hosted by the West Chicago Park District, senior citizens enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast. It was time of conversation and laughter. https://merleburl.com
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