Here’s when Santa Claus, other holiday events, arrive in DeKalb County

Santa and Mrs. Claus talk to the crowd in front of the tree after lighting the Christmas lights at the DeKalb County Courthouse during Walk With Santa Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in downtown Sycamore.

DeKALB – It’s officially the holidays in DeKalb County, and as families gather gifts and plans for December, seasonal events abound.

Some events even include a visit by Santa Claus himself, who will help light the downtown DeKalb Christmas tree Thursday.

Matt Duffy, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the Lights on Lincoln and Santa Comes to Town event is a personal seasonal highlight of his.

“It’s always fun bringing Santa to town,” Duffy said. “To see the joy on the kids’ faces when they see him pull up and they have their lists and things they want to say, that’s always a fun event.”

The newly lit tree sparkles in downtown DeKalb Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, during Lights on Lincoln and Santa Comes to Town.

Duffy said local holiday festivities, such as Santa Comes to Town, also help drive area consumers to local mom-and-pop stores instead of big box retailers.

“While you’re thinking about your list of things you’d like, the things you want to buy for people, we want to remind you that you can run down to your local shop and get a unique gift,” Duffy said.

Rose Treml, executive director of Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, said she’s particularly excited for the Winter Chocolate Walk at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore.

“The businesses downtown have specials going on for the holidays and you get to taste chocolate,” Treml said. “I mean, what more could you ask for?”

Sycamore will host Santa, like other municipalities in the area, Friday. Treml said Santa will be at the Sycamore Theater, 420 W. State St., which will show a free holiday movie Friday. Santa will make his way to the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn, 133 W. State St., for a lighting of holiday lights and then visit with area children.

Treml said holiday events such as the Walk With Santa event represent the best opportunity for local businesses to make a profit.

“It is probably their best time, I would say, in terms of keeping them around for awhile,” Treml said. “It’s extremely important to our businesses, to our local businesses.”

Members of the Stage Coach Players from DeKalb sing carols as the anticipation grows for Santa's arrival Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, during Lights on Lincoln and Santa Comes to Town.

2022 Holiday events in DeKalb County

Lights on Lincoln and Santa Comes to Town

Date: Thursday, Dec. 1

Time: 6 p.m.

Place: Downtown DeKalb

Cost: Free

This year the Santa will begin his ride through downtown DeKalb for the Lights on Lincoln and Santa Comes to Town event at 6 p.m. Holiday lights will line the street and attendees can enjoy hot chocolate and caroling in Van Buer Plaza once Santa has made his stop at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. After his ride through downtown and the city’s Christmas tree has been lit, Santa will be available for visits in Van Buer Plaza. The DeKalb Public Transit System will run a free, special bus route to take families to see Lights on Lincoln.

Winter Chocolate Walk

Date: Thursday, Dec. 1

Time: 4 to 8 p.m.

Place: 403 Edward St., Sycamore

Cost: $12

The 2022 Winter Chocolate Walk in Sycamore will provide shoppers with a tasty incentive to wander between Sycamore shops. Participants will start their evening at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St., where they’ll pick up their chocolate walk entry card, and be offered their first chocolate treat of the night. Those who reserve their $12 ticket online will receive a souvenir hot cocoa mug.

Walk With Santa

Date: Friday, Dec. 2

Place: Sycamore Theater to DeKalb County Courthouse lawn

Time: 4 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Sycamore’s Walk with Santa event starts at 4 p.m. with a free showing of the movie “The Polar Express” and at 6 p.m. the Sycamore Fire Department will escort Santa and Mrs. Claus to the theater. Once gathered, the crowd will parade with the Clauses down State Street to the DeKalb County Courthouse where Santa will light holiday trees on the lawn. Santa will then be at his house where children can meet with him and present their list of desired gifts for the holiday season.

DeKalb Area Women’s Center Holiday Shopping Fair

Date: Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3

Place: DeKalb Area Women’s Center, 1021 State St. DeKalb

Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3.

Cost: Free to attend

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center, a facility rocked by flooding late this summer, will host its annual holiday shopping fair this weekend. Consumers will have the chance to support the area women’s center either Friday evening or throughout Saturday.

Celebrate the Season in downtown Genoa

Date: Friday, Dec. 2

Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

The Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce will host its Celebrate the Season event to help kick off the holidays, starting with a 6 p.m. Jingle Bell parade, with a special guest arrival by Santa himself. The event will also feature a tree lighting ceremony, photo opportunities with a sleigh or Santa Claus, a petting zoo, horse-drawn wagon rides, take home crafts, cozy fires to keep warm, a live Nativity scene, food and vendor booths, a chance to write letters to Santa, charity booths and face painting.

48th annual Genoa-Kingston Christmas Craft Walk

Date: runs through 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

A great chance to support local business and get some holiday shopping done, more than 90 vendors will set up shop during the craft walk, featuring 15 participating businesses throughout Genoa and Kingston.

For a map and complete listing of area businesses, visit Those interested can also stop by OpenDoor Coffee, 502 W. Main St., in Genoa to pick up a paper copy of the map.

Sandwich Park District’s Holiday Lane Craft Show and Festival of Trees

Date: The Holiday Lane Craft Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at Sandwich High School, 515 E. Lions Road in Sandwich.

The event will feature a variety of vendors offering opportunities to get some holiday shopping done.

The Festival of Trees starts Dec. 3 during business hours at Classic Cinema 7, 101 Duvick Ave. in Sandwich.

For more information, visit

Village of Shabbona’s Winter Holiday Festival

Date: 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.

The festival will be held inside parks and buildings along Navaho Avenue between Illini and Pontiac Streets.

Visit with Santa, enjoy games and activities, shop for gifts at the craft fair, witness the tree lighting, get on a horse-drawn carriage ride, watch the children’s parade and more.

Food will be offered from Tinez Taco Truck and Shabbona Cafe.

Event organizers are also inviting others to participate in a toy drive to benefit the NICE Center. Items encouraged are kids toy, games, puzzles, books, gift certificates for adolescents and more. Items can be dropped off at the Shabbona Community Church, 104 E. Navaho Ave., and the United Neighborhood Center at 105 E. Navaho Ave.

Gather Gives Back

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 7

Place: El Jimador Mexican Grill in downtown DeKalb

Time: 5 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Gather, a women’s leadership group through the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, will host a holiday card writing session to create cards for Voluntary Action Center’s Meals on Wheels residents. The group will also prepare package gifts with holiday cards for countywide nursing home residents.

Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops ‘Winter Wonderland’ concert

Date: Friday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 11

Place: Northern Illinois University Music Building, 550 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb

Time: 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Dec. 11

Cost: For tickets, visit

Popular seasonal music will be featured, including Pytor Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” and Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from “Babes in Toyland,” as well as a Christmas singalong.

DeKalb Back Alley Market presents Merry Market

Date: Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11

Place: Downtown DeKalb

Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11

Multiple vendors will be featured at this market, offering handmade and crafted holiday fare.

Visits with Santa

Dates: Saturdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17

Place: 148 N. Second St., DeKalb

Time: 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

Santa Claus will be inside his house at Van Buer Plaza at the corner of Second and Locust streets in downtown DeKalb on Saturdays in December. He’ll be waiting for children to take a picture with him and deliver their holiday wish list.

Holiday Traditions Weekend 2022

Dates: Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4

Place: Ellwood House Museum, 420 Linden Place, DeKalb

Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2, 1 to 5 p.m. Dec 3 and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4

Cost: $12 per adult or $6 for ages 6 to 17

The Ellwood House in DeKalb is inviting the public to take a self-guided tour of the historic home while it’s decked out in Christmas decorations.

‘A Christmas Story,’ performed by Stage Coach Players

Dates: Dec. 8-11 and Dec. 16-18

Place: Stage Coach Theater, 126 S. Fifth St. in downtown DeKalb

Time: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 16-17, 2 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18

Cost: $16 to $18

Stage Coach Players will present “A Christmas Story,” the classic holiday movie that premiered in 1983. Directed by Stewart Ogilvie, the production is slated to feature fan-favorite plot points, including the Red Ryder BB gun and the prized leg lamp.

DeKalb County’s Largest Holiday Office Party

Date: Thursday, Dec. 22

Place: Fatty’s Pub & Grille, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb

Time: 5 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Depends on how many libations you enjoy

Fatty’s in DeKalb is hosting its 16th annual Largest Holiday Office Party. Live music will accompany the usual assortment of drinks and food known by Fatty’s regulars.