Holiday lights event planned at Welton Plaza

Gurnee Park District to conduct walking event at Esper Petersen Park beforehand

GURNEE – On Dec. 2, the holiday season will kick off with a Holiday Lights event co-hosted by Gurnee Park District, the village of Gurnee and the Gurnee Chamber of Commerce.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Welton Plaza on Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee.

The free event will include family-friendly activities such as holiday carolers, food trucks and snacks, hot cocoa, live petting zoo, music, a tree ornament craft station, s’more making by the fire, visits with Santa Claus and a holiday lighting display.

Donations will be collected for the Warren Township Food Pantry and the Northern Illinois Food Bank, a nonprofit organization that strives to provide food to those in need in northern Illinois. Guests who bring nonperishable food items or cash donations to the event will receive a ticket for a free snack at the snack tent.

“We are so excited to collaborate with the village of Gurnee and the village of Gurnee Chamber of Commerce for this event,” Susie Kuruvilla, executive director of the Gurnee Park District, said in a news release. “We look forward to working together to provide this fun family event to our community and its residents.”

Preceding the Holiday Lights event, the Gurnee Park District will host a free GO Gurnee “Winter Wellness Walk” at Esper Petersen Park (located off Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee) from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. The walk will begin with a quick discussion on safely walking at night, followed by a 1-mile walk around the park. Those who attend the walk will receive a light-up bracelet.

Donations of nonperishable canned goods will be collected at the walk for the Warren Township Food Pantry and Northern Illinois Food Bank. Those who contribute items will receive a pair of “safety shoe lights.”

To attend the walk, visit to register or call Mary Lester, supervisor of community programs and events, at 847-599-3745.

Parking for the walk and Holiday Lights event will be available at Viking Park, Viking Middle School and surrounding areas on Old Grand Avenue.