Local News

5 things to do around McHenry County: More area communities welcome Christmas season

1. Dickens in Dundee will kick off with tree lightings in East and West Dundee Friday followed by activities that evening and a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The event began in 1988 as a “small community gathering” with caroling and a search for Tiny Tim’s crutch in local stores, according to organizers.

The festivities have since grown:

In East Dundee, the tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. Friday will feature live music from Kimberlyrics Choir. The subsequent activities, which will take place near the East Dundee Downtown Depot, 319 N. River St., and the surrounding downtown area, include visits with Santa, living windows, caroling, appearances by “Frozen” characters and free horse-drawn carriage rides.

In West Dundee, the tree lighting is planned for 6 p.m. followed by a meet-and-greet with Santa at Village Hall, 102 S. 2nd St., and living windows along Main Street.

The parade will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday. The route will travel along Main Street from 2nd Street in West Dundee to River Street in East Dundee, ending just south of the Depot.

More activities will follow at Grafelman Park, 112 N. 5th St. in West Dundee, including a petting zoo, kids crafts and visits with Santa.

For information, go to www.dickensindundee.org and bit.ly/DickensEastDundee2021.

2. Island Lake’s tree lighting is also planned for Friday evening.

The event will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. outside the village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave., and include the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. along with treats, singing and a visit from Santa.

3. Breakfast with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa, a craft show and gingerbread house contest are all part of this year’s Christmas in Harvard.

The breakfast will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Kelley’s Family Restaurant, 5420 Route 14 in Harvard, according to the event website. Visits with Santa will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Starline Factory, 300 W. Front St., which also will house a craft show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The city’s gingerbread house contest will also take place. The drop-off is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Starline Factory Door 400.

The evening will conclude with a Christmas parade at 5 p.m. followed by the tree lighting at Five Points, which is where Division, Diggins and Ayers streets meet.

For information, go to cityofharvard.org.

4. Algonquin’s Miracle on Main will kick off at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Plaza, 2 S. Main St., with the arrival of Santa and the annual tree lighting ceremony.

More activities will follow, including photo stations, live reindeer, an ice sculptor, live entertainment, a strolling juggler, activities and giveaways by event sponsors and free hot chocolate.

The event will conclude at 7 p.m.

For information, go to algonquin.org.

5. A Very Merry Huntley with a sing-a-long, free horse-drawn trolley rides, hot chocolate, a community pasta dinner and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus is set for Saturday.

The day will kick off at 1st Congregational Church’s Fellowship Hall, 11628 E. Main St. where the Kris Kringle Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with free kids games and crafts to go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More events will take place on the Square off Coral Street.

From 3 to 5 p.m., the Merry Maskers will host a sing-a-long in the gazebo. There will also be a Toys for Tots collection box for new unwrapped toys on site.

Free horse-drawn trolley rides will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. through downtown Huntley. Free hot chocolate also will be available during this time, and attendees can vote for their favorite decorated Christmas tree. Votes are done through cash, which will be donated to the Grafton Food Pantry.

A community pasta dinner is planned for 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 673, 11712 Coral St. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 4 to 9 years old and free for children under 3 years old.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive via fire truck at 5 p.m. for the Christmas tree lighting at the gazebo and Town Square. Pictures with Santa in the gazebo will follow as will a holiday fireworks show.

For information, go to huntley.il.us.

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