Saturday, December 01, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

And Bob in his hardhat and Joe on his Cat have just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

Construction has come to a close on Phase I of the Downtown Elgin Streetscape Plan, just in time for a flurry of holiday activities.

Though a few barricades and sandbags remain, not a dump truck will be stirring, not even a drill until early next year.

Okay, enough with the forced ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas metaphors – they just don’t really work with construction terminology.

Anyway, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to come downtown and see what you’ve been missing. Starting today.

Ever seen a real live reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and the whole gang is hanging out in the City Hall parking lot today. No, they’re not awaiting their court date, though they are a wily crew. They are part of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s annual Window Wonderland event happening today all throughout downtown Elgin.

Santa’s here too making a special appearance to promote his new movie. That guy is always reinventing himself. He’s like the Travolta of the North Pole. The kiddies can have lunch with him at The Centre from 11 to 12:30 or 1 to 2:30 – just give a call to 847-931-6100 to pre-register. Santa will also be available for free pictures in the Professional Building at 164 Division Street from 12 to 5pm. How can Santa be in two places at once, you ask? As my nephew would say, “Duh, he’s Santa.” Duh.

There’s also a live nativity scene in the parking lot next to the Galleria on North Grove with Larkin Avenue Baptist Church presenting a narration of the Gospel of Luke. Carolers will accompany the “bahs” and “moos”.

Now the main event, as the name implies, are the decorated storefront windows sprinkled throughout downtown. More than 25 businesses and volunteer groups decorated windows in the theme of “Holidays of the Past, Present and Future.” You’ll get a passport to help you make your way around downtown to find the windows. You can travel by foot or by trolley to survey the handiwork and then vote for your favorite. Many of the businesses are offering free hot chocolate and other goodies and lots of fun activities so be sure to stop in and get your passport stamped.

The day closes with fun in Festival Park as the city presents its annual tree lighting ceremony beginning at 5pm, complete with free sleigh rides and readings of the Polar Express.

So bring the family down for some holiday fun. You’ll be surprised to see what a few watts of electricity and a little holiday cheer can do. No doubt you’ll have visions of downtown Elgin dancing in your head.

1 comment:

AliMama said...

Applause to all the shops who participated! I started late -- about 3:00pm -- and slid around downtown with four children, barely getting our passports turned in at the 4:00 deadline. Our favorites? The marshmallow snowmen at Hines, and the chestnuts roasting at Keeneys.

It's too bad that Mother Nature had to show up in such an icy mood, otherwise it was a great time.