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Elgin tree lighting & holiday events Saturday

SylviTester Dundee Township Lions Club repositions ornaments thwere blown off  trees Grafelman Park West Dundee Saturday during Dickens In

Sylvia Tester of the Dundee Township Lions Club repositions ornaments that were blown off trees at Grafelman Park in West Dundee on Saturday, during the Dickens In Dundee event. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media

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In Our Towns

A roundup of holiday happenings this weekend in area communities

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:11AM

ELGIN — Saturday in downtown Elgin will be an opportune time and place to start finding one’s holiday spirit when the city is filled with an entire day of seasonal fun.

To start the day’s festivities, the city’s ice rink at Civic Plaza will offer free skate hire all day (the rink is open from noon to 9 p.m.). Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., skaters and onlookers will be treated to live musical accompaniment from the sound of soaring trumpets, robust trombones, wailing saxophones and swinging rhythm section sounds of the Jazz Consortium Big Band playing all the holiday favorites.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will host its 14th annual Window Wonderland event from noon to 5 p.m. This year, the event will include Santa’s real live reindeer at the civic parking lot at Highland and Douglas avenues, chestnut roasting in front of the Tower Building, horse-drawn carriage rides and a live nativity scene. Kids are also challenged to take part in the new “Holiday Treasure Hunt Passport Puzzle” and could win a grand prize of a $100 Visa gift card.

At 4 and 5:30 p.m., prepare to be whisked away on a free artistic tour showcasing the “Spirit of the Holidays” presented by Elgin Ties. The tour will take visitors through seven stations with dance, visual art and drama all focused on the holiday season. Artists will be located in and around the Hemmens Cultural Center.

No holiday festival would be complete without the traditional tree lighting, and this year Mayor Dave Kaptain will be “flicking the switch” at 5 p.m. to the sounds of the Elgin Children’s Chorus. The city of Elgin is even reporting rumors that Santa Claus himself is planning to drop in for the show.

Visitors can round off the day with a laugh at the Hemmens with GreenRoom’s family-friendly comedy improv show. The show includes competing improv teams, improvised songs, audience participation and even a live band. Tickets are available at .

Elgin: Police Department to host Winter Open House

The Elgin Police Department will host its annual Winter Open House from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the police station, 151 Douglas Ave. While warming up with hot chocolate and cider, residents and guests can learn about the department’s rich history, meet a police K9 dog, participate in fun kids’ activities, and enjoy on-the-hour facility tours.

At 12:30 p.m., join the department in celebrating the unveiling of a replicated original horse-drawn turn-of-the-century patrol wagon. This wagon is the culmination of a yearlong project undertaken by the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Museum Committee and will become the cornerstone of the Elgin Police Museum, located in the lobby of the police department.

Algonquin: Rock on the Fox Holiday Storytime

The Algonquin Area Public Library District will be at Riverfront Park in Algonquin Saturday for Holiday Rock on the Fox with stories, books and merriment.

Stop by this community event and hear some holiday stories at 5 p.m. told by Librarians Alexa, Jingle the Elf, and Virginia, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. Jingle and Rudolf will be giving out a book to each child who visits.

No Library registration is required to attend.

Holiday Rock on the Fox takes place at Riverfront Park in Algonquin, located at 201 N. Harrison St. from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Admission is free. There will also be many other activities joining the Library including a community tree lighting, candy cane hunt, Santa and holiday music. Donation bins will be available for nonperishable food and new, unwrapped toys.

West Dundee: Festival of the Trees Saturday, Sunday

The Dundee Township Lions Club will present the Festival of Trees from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Grafelman Park in West Dundee, a free fun activity for children and adults. Vote with small change for whichever tree you think is best (Peoples Choice Award) on Saturday. All money goes to the schools and Scout groups represented. Come back Sunday and see if your selection wins. This is a part of the Dickens in Dundee festival.

There will be 22 trees decorated by local schools and Scout groups on display. See the prize-winning trees demonstrating beauty, creativity and holiday spirit. You’ll see trees that are decorated in patriotic colors for our troops, recycled material, wildlife decorations for our feathered friends, and many traditionally decorated trees.

East Dundee: Library offers free showing of holiday film ‘A Christmas Carol’

Leave your coupons and wallet at home and take a holiday season breather at the Dundee Library. Special events are planned for all ages. The library is located at 555 Barrington Ave. (Route 68) in East Dundee. The Dickens in Dundee Holiday Classic Movie, “A Christmas Carol” (1938; 1 hr. 9 min.), will be shown at 3 p.m. Saturday. Come warm up at the library after a day of parade watching, cookie eating, sleigh riding and tree shopping at the Dickens in Dundee event. The library will show the classic 1938 version of “A Christmas Carol,” starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge. No tickets or reservations are required; audience capacity is 80 people. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for free popcorn and refreshments. Children under age 9 must be accompanied by an adult.

St. Charles: Artist’s new holiday CD to benefit youth organization programs

SOUNDS OF GOOD NEWS (SOGN) Productions (Suburban Chicago Branch) is releasing a new holiday music CD of “Christmas & Jazz Favorites” to benefit their “Young Eagles Success” (YES) Club Kids Winter Projects.

Starting this weekend, “Seasoning for the Season”, featuring Branch President “Crooner” Frank Robinson, will be available online at the SOGN Music Store and also locally at “Frank’s Shoes and Gifts” at the “Q” Center in St. Charles. Proceeds will help with the “YES” Club’s 7th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration and Album Release Concert in Rockford in January. For more information, call SOGN CEO Carl Cole at 815-914-1493 or visit

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