DOWNERS GROVE - The Downers Grove Gingerbread Festival was just the start of holiday village's celebration.
The Downers Grove Park District will pick up where the village left off with holiday festivities that include the annual Merry and Bright: A Victorian Christmas as well as the house decorating contest and a Christmas musical.
Residents looking to impersonate Clark Griswold can enter the Winter Wonderland Light Decorating contest.
Decorated houses will be judged between 5 and 10 p.m. Dec. 6 through 9. The free contest is open to Downers Grove residents only.
Judges’ criteria will include first impression, use of lights and decorations and overall presentation.
The winner of each category will receive a $50 Home Depot gift card.
The deadline to register is Dec. 2. The 2017 winner is not eligible to win prizes. Call the Park District at 630 963-1300 or visit www.dgparks.org to register for the contest.
The Park District will post a map of all participating homes on its website by Dec. 6.
The Park District’s annual holiday celebration, Merry and Bright: A Victorian Christmas, will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave.
Participants will learn about Victorian Christmas traditions and tour the holiday-decorated Victorian Blodgett house at the free event.
The Canterbury Carollers, dressed in authentic period costume, will perform a cappella harmonies of Victorian-era carols at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and create holiday crafts in the Blodgett House from 3 to 7 p.m.
Visitors can stroll the luminaria walk and warm up around a campfire. Holiday snacks and hot cocoa will be available for purchase in the museum barn.
Donations for DuPage Pads and West Suburban Humane Society will be accepted at the giving tree located inside the barn. For a wish list of donation items, visit www.dgparks.org.
Follow up a visit to the Blodgett House by attending “Christmas Evie: an Original Christmas Musical,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 or 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave.
Tickets are $12 and $8 for children ages 2 to 17 and seniors 62 and older. Tickets are on sale at the Lincoln Center or may be purchased at www.dgparks.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
Local actors will perform in the Christmas musical that features Evie, a young girl from Downers Grove, who learns a shocking truth about Amelia, her little sister.
Amelia is certain her name has been put on Santa’s naughty list. When Evie sends a thought-provoking letter to Santa, telling him she can’t believe in him anymore, Santa loses his Christmas spirit. He struggles to resist a change he knows has to be made in order for the meaning of Christmas to ring true.
Parents who'd like their child to receive a letter from Santa can register with the Park District by Dec. 6. Letters will be sent out on Dec. 12. The program is limited to Downers Grove children ages 3 to 10.
Families who'd like to have breakfast with Santa can do so on Dec. 2 at two Downers Grove restaurants.
The first breakfast will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Pinecone Cottage Tea House, 1029 Burlington Ave. Call 630 963-9130 for reservations. The second breakfast will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ballydoyle Irish Pub, 5157 Main St. Call 630 969-0600 for reservations.
For information about Downers Grove Park District programs and events,
call 630 963-1300 or visit www.dgparks.org.