The Scene

Lighting of the Square event to illuminate downtown Woodstock

Some of the ten thousand lights shine during the Lighting of the Square Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Woodstock. The annual event featured brass music, caroling, free doughnuts and cider, food trucks, festive selfie stations and shopping.

Downtown Woodstock will become illuminated for the holidays during Lighting of the Square on Friday, Nov. 24. The event, which has become a holiday tradition for many families, is always held the day after Thanksgiving every year.

The lighting ceremony is at 7 p.m., but the event runs from 4 to 8 p.m., with plenty of festive activities for the entire family. Santa will appear to greet children and take photos just before the lighting ceremony.

Activities include the Ginger Bread Walk at the Old Courthouse Center, the Holiday Tree Walk at the Woodstock Opera House, holiday selfie stations around the Square, carolers, choir performances and more. Merchants and businesses will also be open for holiday shopping. New this year is a shuttle service from 5 to 8 p.m. from Woodstock High School to the Square, to allow for more parking at the school.

According to Maddy Neubauer, marketing coordinator for Real Woodstock and the City of Woodstock, about 6,200 linear feet of lights define the rooflines on 64 buildings, and about 8 miles of lights and more than 82,000 bulbs will illuminate the Square this year.

“The energy and anticipation is palpable in the moments leading up to the Lighting Ceremony during the Lighting of the Square event,” Neubauer said. “Once the lights simultaneously illuminate the Square, expressions of joy and wonder are seen on thousands of faces. To see children in awe of this magic is so special, but to see it on the faces of adults too, it’s truly heartwarming. I think that unforgettable feeling is what brings people back every year.”

The holiday fun continues with the Woodstock Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26. Santa and Mrs. Claus will appear in the parade, as well as local businesses, organizations and groups.

“There is a certain small-town magic that is unique to Woodstock,” she said. “When the lights are illuminated, it almost feels like you are transported into the set of a holiday Hallmark movie. The Square is festive with music, carolers, visits with Santa, cool photo opportunities, hot chocolate and people browsing the stores.”

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows is the editor of The Scene, Shaw Local News Network's entertainment section. The Scene is your go-to destination for all things fun in Northern Illinois. Prior to The Scene, Aimee was the editor of the Kane County Chronicle for five years, and a freelance reporter for Shaw Media for four years.