Westmont man looks to build new family traditions with Holly Days festival
As a longtime resident of Westmont, Steve Golembiewski remembers the family traditions created with the village’s annual Holly Days festival.
Now, as the new co-chairman of the Holly Days Committee that works to organize the event, he wants to make it an annual tradition for other families as well.
Q. What is the Holly Days festival, and what are some of the events that are part of it?
A. Holly Days is a month-long festival that runs from the weekend before Thanksgiving until Dec. 31, and features a variety of different events and programs such as the Frosty and Friends Holiday Parade through downtown Westmont, the pancake breakfast and craft show as part of Decorating Day, the 5K run that we really want to build up this year, and the Season’s Splendors, featuring holiday programs on Saturday nights in December.
Q. As the new co-chairman of the Holly Days festival, what is your role in helping organize the event?
A. One of my main roles has been in coordinating events with other groups in the community, especially for the Frosty and Friends Parade. It is a big event that requires street closures, and I have been working with the police department, public works, emergency management agency volunteers, and other groups to make sure logistically we are all on the same page.
Q. Now that you are working to help coordinate it, what is your personal goal for this year’s Holly Days?
A. Growing up in Westmont, I remember the tradition around Holly Days. Each year, we would go to the pancake breakfast because my dad loved the potato pancakes, and my mom would always go shopping at the craft bazaar. For me, that was a tradition. My goal is to make these events a tradition for families in this community to enjoy for years to come, just as my family did.
Q. What do you hope will be some of the highlights of this year’s Holly Days festival?
A. The most popular events are always the parade, the craft bazaar and pancake breakfast, and our weekly Season’s Splendor programs. On Saturday nights in December, the Westmont Park District puts on various events for Season’s Splendor. This year’s highlights will include an “adopt a husky” where people will have a chance to learn about these snow dogs on Dec. 8, and that will run in conjunction with the Progressive Village Performance Network theater group’s holiday production of “The Bishop’s Wife. On Dec. 15, we will be showing a feature film “The Muppets Christmas Carol,” and on Dec. 22, we are having a special Grinch theme family night. These are all programs for the entire family that I am really excited about.
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