Montgomery’s Merry & Bright kicks off with tree lighting, visit from Santa Dec. 3

Montgomery Merry & Bright, the village’s annual tree lighting and visit with Santa event, will kick off activities Sunday, Dec. 3, with Santa and Mrs. Claus’ grand arrival on a Montgomery-Countryside Fire Protection District fire engine just after 5 p.m. on River Street in the village’s downtown.

Santa and Village President Matt Brolley will light the Village tree this year and another 25 trees along the street, decorated by local businesses and organizations. Next, Santa and Mrs. Claus will head indoors at Village Hall for visits and pictures, along with the Oswego East Tri-M Music Honor Society, which will perform in the boardroom for those waiting in line or looking to warm up.

In addition, guests can watch live musical performances outdoors from local Nicholson Elementary and Oswego East Jazz Ensemble students and enjoy professional strolling carolers, the Festive Singers, along River Street.

The businesses in the 200 block of North River Street also are in on the festivities. Guests can wander to Atrevete Confections at 216 N. River St. and pick up a free cup of hot chocolate. Gray’s Mill Estate at 211 N. River St. will be handing out cookies.

Other businesses and organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Montgomery, will be in the Village Hall multipurpose room with giveaways, crafts for kids and letters to Santa. Additionally, the Rotary will give a special treat to children who bring non-perishable items to fill up the Rotary Free Little Pantry located at Village Hall for families needing food throughout the year.

Toys for Tots Kendall County also will have collection bins at Village Hall during the event for those interested in donating a new toy for a child this holiday season.

The event, parking and activities are free, thanks to sponsors Ozinga, Waubonsee Community College Orchard Road Animal Hospital, The Lakone Company, Gray’s Mill Estate and the many business partners who have agreed to fund an outdoor tree and activity.

A few outdoor tree spaces are available for the Festival of Trees. Businesses, families or organizations looking to support this event or show some holiday spirit can visit the Village website to find out more or email Space is limited, first-come, first-served.

The Mill Street Bridge is closed through December due to the ongoing rehabilitation and lighting project. Visitors should plan to utilize the Route 30 overpass (to the south) or the Ashland Bridge (to the north) to access the event area along the Fox River in downtown Montgomery.

For information on the event, visit or the village’s Facebook Page.