Holidays come early to downtown Joliet
from Staff Reports November 12, 2012 7:02PM
The city Christmas tree lights up downtown Joliet, Illinois Friday night November 25, 2011. | Art Vassy~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 14, 2012 6:05AM
The Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade, a full day of holiday-themed activities, will be Nov. 23 in downtown Joliet.
The event is the city’s kickoff celebration for the Christmas holiday season featuring holiday crafts, movies, ice sculpting and other activities. The festivities are topped off by the parade that follows the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree.
More than 25,000 people are expected to come to downtown Joliet during the course of the event, which starts at 10 a.m.
The parade is sponsored by the University of St. Francis. This year, Bernie the St. Bernard, the USF mascot, is grand marshal of the parade.
The schedule is.
10 a.m.: Ice sculpting demonstration at the museum entrance. Sculpting will be by students in the culinary arts program at Joliet Junior College.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Brunch with Santa” at Joliet Junior College Renaissance Center. Cost: $12.95 for adults; $9.95 for children 10 and under. Reservations recommended. Call 815-280-1404, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rencen.info.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Free admission to the Joliet Area Historical Museum. Activities include holiday-themed arts and crafts. Visitors can see the “Strike up the Band!” exhibit, which honors the 100th anniversary of the Joliet Township High School marching band. Local bands will entertain at the museum from 1 to 2 p.m.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Joliet Public Library hosts crafts, readings and pictures with Santa. Carolers will perform on library steps facing Chicago Street.
Noon to 4 p.m.: Fantastic Fun Fair at the Renaissance Center. Free games and activities for children sponsored by the Joliet Park District and Will County Forest Preserve District.
2 to 4 p.m.: Gji’s Sweet Shoppe on Chicago Street offers kids’ cookie decorating ($2 per cookie) and pictures with Mrs. Claus ($7 with frame included).
2 to 9 p.m.: Rialto Square Theatre activities include Festival of Trees; Teddy Bear Teas at 9:30 a.m. and noon; showing of the movies “Happy Feet II” at 3 p.m. and “Polar Express” at 7 p.m. Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for children and seniors; no charge for children under 12. Information and reservations: 815-726-6600.
3 to 8 p.m.: Advent Adventure with crafts and treats at First and Santa Cruz Lutheran Parish, 55 W. Benton St. Information: 815-722-4800.
5:15 p.m.: Lighting of the city Christmas tree in Van Buren Plaza.
5:30 p.m. : Parade.
More information about the event is available by calling 877-4-JOLIET. Or, visit www.jolietdowntown.com or www.visitjoliet.org.