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Holiday festivities begin Friday in St. Charles

Published: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 5:34 a.m. CST
Caption
(Kane County Chronicle file photo)
Parade participants wave to the crowd during the 2011 Electric Christmas Parade in St. Charles. This year's parade will be Saturday.

ST. CHARLES – The four founding members of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership on Saturday will lead the Electric Christmas Parade as it makes its way east on Main Street.

Lynne Schwartz, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, said it is a privilege to have Jack Wagner, Jim Martin, Sharon Oie and Dave Lencioni serve as the annual event’s grand marshals – a role that in recent years has been filled by a St. Charles filmmaker, community leaders and TV personalities.

She said it was easy to convince them to ride on the float put together by presenting sponsor Fox Valley Auto Group.

“I think they were appreciative that we would honor them,” said Schwartz, noting the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Saturday’s parade is one of several activities planned for this year’s Holiday Homecoming, which starts Friday with a free afternoon movie at the Arcada Theatre and the evening Lighting of the Lights ceremony at First Street Plaza.

“We had a great turnout last year, and we expect the same this year,” Schwartz said.

The ceremony will be led by Mayor Don DeWitte and will include appearances by the St. Charles North and East High School chorales and Santa and Mrs. Claus. It is starts at 5 p.m.

Saturday daytime activities include free horse-drawn sleigh rides and visits with Santa at Santa’s House on the First Street Plaza.

Schwartz said a “great lineup” is planned for this year’s parade, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Entries include Miss Illinois Megan Ervin, the Shriners, Boy Scouts, civic clubs and local businesses.

Holiday Homecoming attendees also will have an opportunity to buy Christmas trees downtown, Schwartz said.

A tree lot will be set up along the east side of First Street south of Main Street, she said.

Holiday Homecoming events are free.

“Our great committee and staff put a lot of hard work into making these such great events for the community,” Schwartz said.

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