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Light Up the Holidays features parade, free family events, fireworks

11/23/2014, 12:28 p.m.
Joliet's annual kick-off to the holiday season starts at 10 a.m. Friday and culminates at 5:30 p.m. with a parade ...
One of many bands that performed at last year's Light Up the Holidays parade in downtown Joliet, which will take place this year on Nov. 28. http://jolietdowntown.com

The ceremony to turn on the lights to the city of Joliet's Christmas tree will be held at 5:15 p.m. Friday on Van Buren Plaza at Chicago Street in downtown Joliet.

www.stfrancis.edu

The ceremony to turn on the lights to the city of Joliet's Christmas tree will be held at 5:15 p.m. Friday on Van Buren Plaza at Chicago Street in downtown Joliet.

Light Up the Holidays, the annual daylong family festival the culminates with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, parade and fireworks, is Friday in downtown Joliet.

Here's a list of what's scheduled to help plan your day:

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Joliet Area Historical Museum Free Day, 204 N. Ottawa St. Tour the museum, do a Christmas craft, and enjoy light refreshments while supplies last.

10 a.m. -- Ice Sculpting Demonstration, 204 N. Ottawa St. Live ice sculpting demonstration by Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts students in front of the Joliet Area Historical Museum.

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Fantastic Fun Fair, Joliet Area Historical Museum, Lower Level Caterpillar Auditorium, 204 N. Ottawa St. Take your photo with Santa and meet Elsa, Anna and Kristoff from "Frozen." There will be two short "Frozen" stage performances, and a chance to take photos with the princesses. The museum and Forest Preserve District of Will County will have stations to make winter crafts and the Joliet Park District will have an area to play holiday games. Receive "Merry Money" from Midland States Bank that can be used at Jitters, Joliet Route 66 Diner, Blue Taco, Regis Glass Art, Juliet’s, Tin Roof, Rialto Square Theatre, Chicken-N-Spice, The Venezuelan Bowl and Gallery Seven.

7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. -- Chicken-N-Spice, 251 N. Chicago St. Stop by for a free holiday treat from Santa’s helpers, face painting ($7) and hot chocolate ($1).

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. -- Joliet Public Library’s Holiday Fun Day, 150 N. Ottawa St. Activities include free coloring page crafts (while supplies last) and “Story time with Santa” at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Bring your camera to take a picture with Santa!

10 a.m. - 7 p.m. -- Gallery Seven, 116 N. Chicago St. Free holiday treats, refreshments and door prizes. Unique gifts created by local artists will be on display and available for purchase.

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Tin Roof, 158 N. Chicago St. Make guacamole with the chefs of Tin Roof. Class open to all ages, while supplies last.

1 - 8 p.m. -- First & Santa Cruz Lutheran Parish, 55 W. Benton St. “Mercado de la Estrella” (Little Star Market) will sell Christmas and seasonal treasures featuring gently used and new decorative items.

3 - 8 p.m. -- First & Santa Cruz Lutheran Parish, 55 W. Benton St. “Advent Adventure,” featuring Make-Them-And-Take-Them crafts and free popcorn. Hot cocoa, Mexican Pan Dulce and other treats available. Help create “Stars of Hope” with your non-perishable food donations for the Blessing Bench Food Pantry.

3 - 5 p.m. -- Juliet’s, 205 N. Chicago St. Drop in for a visit with Santa. Bring your camera for that perfect Christmas photo. Treats for the children and hot apple cider and cookies for everyone will be served.

9:30 a.m. and Noon -- Teddy Bear Tea at the Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St. Special brunch featuring a keepsake teddy bear and Santa, costs $22.50 for adults, $17.50 for children 12 and under, and free for children under 2. Reservations must be made in advance at www.rialtosquare.com or by calling 815-726-6600.

2 - 5 p.m. -- Festival of Trees, Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St. General Admission: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors (60 and older) and children 12 and under, and free for children under 2. Visit rialtosquare.com for more information on this weeklong event.

3 p.m. -- "Rise of the Guardians" movie showing at the Rialto Square Theatre. free with general admission to the Festival of Trees.

5:15 p.m. -- Christmas Tree Lighting at Van Buren Plaza. Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante, the Joliet City Council and University of St. Francis President Arvid C. Johnson will welcome the crowd and help flip the switch on the city's holiday tree.

5:30 p.m. -- Light Up the Holidays Parade, sponsored by the University of St. Francis. The parade will feature area bands, organizations, floats and more. Bernie, USF's Fighting Saints mascot, is grand marshal! To see the parade route, go to http://jolietdowntown.com. A holiday fireworks display will follow the parade.