The Scene

Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival coming to town

Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival

An event so nice it rhymes with merry is just around the corner. Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival will unfold from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in downtown Cary.

“People line up for the parade – it’s a longstanding tradition – people just come from everywhere and line the entire Main Street,” said Lynn Caccavallo, president and CEO of the Cary-Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the festivities. “We guesstimate between three and five thousand [attend].”

The parade will step off at 1 p.m., and this year the village of Cary has been named grand marshal in celebration of its 130th anniversary. The route starts at West Main and South Wulff streets, and heads east to downtown.

Close to 80 participating units representing businesses and organizations will take part in the parade, Caccavallo said. Candy will be shared with children along the route, who will be awaiting the finale for the appearance of a special guest.

Santa Claus will arrive in fine style in a horse-drawn sleigh to cap the parade, and then will listen to children’s wishes from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Cary Travel Express, 9 Jandus Road.

A disc jockey will provide holiday music and will emcee the parade, for which parking is available at the Metra lot.

Between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., a complimentary petting zoo and pony rides will be offered in the BMO bank lot at 122 W. Main St. And take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, with boarding on West Main Street near Tracks Bar & Grill, 108 W. Main St.

After the parade, festivities swing into high gear from 2 to 3:30 p.m. New this year will be opportunities to meet Elsa and Anna from “Frozen,” face painting and visits with the Holiday Grouch, Caccavallo said. Elsa and Anna will be at Orchard Prime Meats and Uncle Jerry’s Pizza Company at 133 W. Main St.

For visits and photo ops with the Holiday Grouch, head to Cary Ale House & Brewing Company, 208 W. Main St.

Visitors can indulge their creativity and sweet tooth with drop-in cookie decorating at 750º Cucina Rustica at 9 Jandus Road, hosted by Cookies by Victoria and the restaurant.

Another treat is face painting at Sweet Caryline’s Candy Shop, 17 Jandus Road.

People can warm up with specialty coffee and hot drinks at Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters at 77 W. Main St.

Caroling along Main Street will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. by Caring Hearts & Voices, whose Facebook page invites people to join in the vocal fun by meeting at Conscious Cup. The group will provide songbooks and jingle bells. The nonprofit notes it’s dedicated to using the universal language of music to support those in need.

The festival is a great opportunity to see the new look of downtown Cary, where restaurants will be open for dining.

“Our downtown area was under renovation all summer; it’s all done and is gorgeous – we can’t wait to celebrate its reopening,” Caccavallo said.

Overlapping the festival as another opportunity to view the fresh face of Cary will be The Merry Cary Gnome for the Holidays Bar Hop from Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Tickets cost $10, and participants can add a specially designed pin from each bar hop establishment they visit to their lanyard, with a chance at winning gift cards.

For information, visit or call 847-639-2800.

Renee Tomell

Renee Tomell

Covering the arts and entertainment scene in northern Illinois, with a focus on the Fox River Valley.