5 things to do in the Illinois Valley: Keep the Christmas joy coming with several activities

Oglesby debuts Christmas parade, Ladd will celebrate its annual event

A horse drawn carriage takes visitors around town during Ladd's Christmas Walk on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021

1 - Join the debut of a new holiday activity Saturday in Oglesby. The Winter Parade is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. from the parking lot of the Oglesby Elks Lodge, 800 E. Walnut St. Among the participants are the La Salle-Peru High School marching band, a dancing troupe sponsored by Mr. Salsa’s as well as a three-piece band. Spectators can line up on either side of Walnut Street and enjoy free hot cocoa and holiday treats as well as pictures with Santa.

2 - Celebrate Christmas season Saturday in Ladd. The There’s Snow Place Like Ladd Christmas Walk is scheduled 2 to 5 p.m. Businesses and organizations will offer family-oriented activities. The Ladd Grade School, 232 E. Cleveland St., will host more than 30 local vendors from noon to 5 p.m. The Ladd American Legion will host Santa and Mrs. Claus from 2 to 5 p.m. at the legion hall, 111 S. Main St. Horse and wagons will be available along Main Street for participants to take a ride to see holiday lights. A lighted Snowman Parade will begin at 5 p.m. on North Main Street. The official lighting of the Christmas tree on Main Street will take place during the event. Additionally, Magic Matt, Mr. Cinnamon the Balloon Twister and food options will be available for all age groups throughout the day.

3 - Take in a holiday-themed concert Sunday in La Salle. The Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra will present Celebrate Joy! at 3 p.m. in the Matthiessen Auditorium of La Salle-Peru High School, 541 Chartres St. The performance features Roger Amm as the vocal soloist. Amm will be singing selections from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” In addition, Amm will narrate composer Bill Holcombe’s exciting arrangement of “T’was The Night Before Christmas.” The varied program will include a performance of Peter Ilyich Tschaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” Three movements from Sergei Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije Symphonique Suite” also will be presented. The IVSO will perform music from the movie, “The Polar Express.” Selections included in the medley are: “Believe,” “The Polar Express,” “When Christmas Comes to Town,” and “Spirit of the Season.”

Christmas shopping also took place at Washington Square as gift and food vendors set up shop as part of the Chris Kringle Market Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Ottawa.

4 - Go vendor market shopping Saturday in Princeton or this weekend in Ottawa. The Bureau County Fairgrounds will host the annual Christmas Craft, Vendor and Flea Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 811 W. Peru St. in Princeton. Admission is free. Santa Claus will be making an appearance from 10 to 11 a.m. More than 80 selling spaces have been reserved for the event. In Ottawa, the Chris Kringle Market will continue 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Jordan block and Washington Square.

5 - Try some Middle Eastern treats Saturday in Spring Valley or Italian succarines in Granville. St. George Orthodox Church, 211 E. Minnesota St., Spring Valley will host a bake sale 9 a.m to noon. The event features Middle Eastern delicacies for the Christmas table, including baklawa, maamoul, spinach pies, meat pies, date fingers, ghraybeh, za’atar bread, cheese bread, among other items. All delicacies are fresh baked by the Ladies of St George. The Altar and Rosary Society of Sacred Heart Parish in Granville will host its 19th annual Christmas Cookie Sale at 8 a.m. at the parish hall at 206 N. School St. Assorted cookies and candies will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at a cost of $7 per pound. Italian succarines will be available for $12 per pound.

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