5 festive things to do in McHenry County

1. An exhibition highlighting artwork that features the McHenry County landscape is planned by the Land Conservancy of McHenry County for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20.

The Art of the Land show, which runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the historic Starline Factory, 306 W. Front St. in Harvard, includes art for sale from local artists, artisan items to buy, poetry by the Woodstock-based poetry collective Atrocious Poets, raffles, live music, appetizers and a cash bar.

Art of the Land is Land Conservancy of McHenry County’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and 30% of all sales from the event support land preservation in McHenry County.

Advance tickets cost $15 a night or $25 for a two-night pass, and can be bought at www.ArtoftheLand.org. At the door, tickets will cost $20 a night.

2. Santa will flip the Christmas lights on during the downtown McHenry Holiday Walk at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Store specials and family-friendly activities will be available throughout the day, and then in the evening, Santa will light up Veterans Park, 3400 Pearl St., with thousands of twinkling lights, according to the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce.

Visits with Santa will be available from 1 to 5 p.m. Home Depot will host its Kids Build-It Workshop, and Ed’s Rentals is sponsoring a bouncy house. Kids’ games and craft activities will be provided by The Chapel and the McHenry High School National Honor Society under the pavilion.

From 5 to 7 p.m., live mannequins recreate favorite holiday scenes in downtown store windows with Living Windows.

The Polar Express Pub Crawl – wear your pajamas – will run from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets will offer access to drink specials and a chance to win one of 15 raffle items. The cost is $20.

Saturday also kicks off the Festival of Trees, which runs through Dec. 4. The trees will be specially decorated by local businesses, and visitors can vote for their favorite by dropping off a nonperishable food item or toiletries under the favored tree. All items will be donated to Veterans Path to Hope.

For information, go to mchenrychamber.com/downtown-holiday-walk.

3. The village of Island Lake’s 33rd annual Holiday Craft Fair – with jewelry, scented oils, candles and other potential gifts – is set for this weekend.

The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.

A $2 entry fee will be used as a ticket for raffle prizes.

The star on the village’s water tower is going to be lit this weekend at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Historical Society of Island Lake will sponsor an event at the nearby Culver’s, 203 E. State Road, Island Lake, where attendees can watch the star light up. Culver’s is donating a portion of its sales to the historical society.

Historical photos will be on display, and ornaments commemorating the original star lighting in 1965, as well as T-shirts and nostalgic postcards, will be for sale.

For information, go to villageofislandlake.com.

4. Thanksgiv-O-Olympics this Sunday in Lake in the Hills will include a Nerf turkey target shoot, obstacle course, a holiday mystery event and the Drumstick Dash.

The event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to noon at the Lake in the Hills Village Hall, is for children ages 8 to 13 years old. All participants will receive a gift, but the winners will take home a holiday food item, including a frozen turkey for first place, half a ham for second, and a pumpkin pie for third.

The cost is $15 for Lake in the Hills residents and $18 for nonresidents.

Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods and nonperishable items to donate to local food pantries.

For information or to register, go to lith.org.

5. The Turkey Testicle Festival returns to Huntley after a year off due to the pandemic.

The age-21-and-older event, which will feature live music, turkey testicles as a pre-Thanksgiving turkey appetizer and other food, will take place from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, at Parkside Pub at 11721 Main St. in Huntley.

Tickets are available online for those looking for special access, but general admission tickets can be bought at the door for $20.

The four bands that will play throughout the day are Voyage, 7th Heaven, Modern Day Romeos and Libido Funk Circus.

Information on how to buy special tickets in advance can be found on the restaurant’s website, parksidepub.com/ttf. Information about the event can be found on Parkside Pub’s Facebook page.

Would you like your event featured in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to the Northwest Herald’s community calendar at shawlocal.com/northwest-herald/local-events where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.