La Grange shops, restaurants and businesses kick off the holidays with festive open houses and winter-themed activities from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 at the 21st-annual “Hometown Holiday,” a village-wide event highlighted by Santa’s arrival by fire truck and the lighting of a towering Christmas tree.
Thousands of residents are expected to participate in a full schedule of free holiday activities.
Along with visits to Santa and Mrs. Claus, the event includes choirs and strolling carolers, a baby animal petting zoo with pony rides, hayrides, a bonfire for make-your-own s’mores, old-time trolley rides throughout the village and into the West End, ice sculptures and kiddie train rides.
Musical entertainment will feature the LTHS Madrigal Choir, strolling carolers and small group performances around the village by musicians from the Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra.
New on the West End are tractor-pulled hayrides as well as the WLTL Radio Tent with listener giveaways. The K Hits Radio Tent with games and contests is featured near Burlington and La Grange roads.
Visitors are encouraged to park on the West End in the free commuter lot near LT North and ride the trolley through the village. Additionally, most local merchants will host festive holiday open houses along with shopping specials and holiday-themed activities, drawings and refreshments.
There will be a La Grange Business Association information booth with event maps and merchant open house information near Village Hall.
“We are so fortunate to have a local community that understands the importance of supporting the small business owner,” said Ryan Williamson, president of the LGBA. “Hometown Holiday is eagerly anticipated by everyone as a way to celebrate the season and celebrate La Grange — all while giving back to the community economically. Our merchant’s holiday open houses are a way for the business community to pay it forward.”
Hometown Holiday is hosted by the LGBA with the Village of La Grange and presented by Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.