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Light Up the Holidays festival, parade Friday in downtown Joliet

11/23/2015, 1 p.m.
The daylong fest is a downtown Joliet tradition featuring more than a family activities, including free food, crafts, visits with ...
Light Up the Holidays in downtown Joliet is a daylong festival that's capped off by a parade and fireworks display.

The Christmas holidays start in earnest for Joliet this Friday with Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade coupled with the first events of ‘Twas the Month Before Christmas at the Rialto Square Theatre.

The annual day-after-Thanksgiving extravaganza that starts with a Teddy Bear Tea and wraps up with the downtown Christmas tree lighting, parade and fireworks display.

Here’s an hour-by-hour breakdown of the activities planned:

9:30 and 11: 30 a.m. – Teddy Bear Tea, with newly added Santa’s Workshop, at the Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St. Brunch includes special appearance by Santa and keepsake Rialto bear for each child. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22.50 for children and includes admission to the “Christmas with the Rudolph Family” show and the showing of “The Lego Movie.” Reservations are required; call 815-726-6600.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free day at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St. In addition to being able to tour the exhibits free of charge, there will be holiday crafts and music performances.

10 a.m. – Live ice-sculpting demonstration by Joliet Junior College culinary arts students in front of the Joliet Campus building, 204 N. Ottawa St.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Free hot chocolate., cookies, door prizes and a chance to win artwork at Gallery Seven, 116 N. Chicago St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Live flame-working demonstrations and a chance to “try” the torch; make-your-own pendant at a discounted rate at Sue Regis Glass Art, 81 N. Chicago St.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Fantastic Fun Fair and photos with Santa in the lower level Caterpillar Auditorium of the Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Decorate holiday cookies with Mrs. Claus for $3 at Gji’s Sweet Shoppe, 81 N. Chicago St.

Noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Special story time with Santa and holiday craft at the Joliet Public Library, 150 N. Ottawa St.

1 to 8 p.m. – Advent Adventure at First & Santa Cruz Lutheran Church, 55 W. Benton St. Free crafts, hot chocolate and popcorn. New and gently used gifts and décor, pan dulce and other trees. Drop off non-perishable food donations for the Blessing Food Pantry.

1 to 3 p.m. – Get a professional photo with Santa for $5 and Free children’s meal with purchase of adult sandwich at Jitters, 178 N. Chicago St.

1:30 p.m. – “Christmas with the Rudolf Family” show at the Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St. Tickets are $10.

2 to 5 p.m. – Make a free ornament at C&C Vision Gallery, 179 N. Chicago St. Parents of children who make an ornament for the store’s Christmas tree will receive 50 percent off a pair of glasses.

3 to 6 p.m. – Get a free holiday tree, free photos with the Elf on the Shelf and $1 hot chocolate from Chicken-N-Spice, 251 N. Chicago St.

3:30 p.m. – “The Lego Movie” will be shown at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St. Tickets are $3.

5 to 5:15 p.m. – Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and the Joliet City Council will turn on the lights to the downtown Christmas tree at Van Buren Plaza, off Chicago Street. University of St. Francis mascot Bernie and carolers will be in attendance.

5:30 p.m. – The Light Up the Holidays Parade, sponsored by the University of St. Francis, steps off in downtown Joliet. It will be followed by a holiday fireworks display.