ELBURN – Santa Claus stood outside the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, resplendent in his traditional bright red garb.
Inside, the halls were decked for the season, with Christmas trees, lights, holiday music and free-flowing hot cocoa for all.
Jim Radtke of Elburn came with his neighbor, Tisheena Gallagher, and her two children, Christian, 4, and Tommy, 8.
“I like Santa Claus, and I like all the Christmas lights,” Radtke said. “And as long as all the kids are having a good time – it’s worth it.”
Gallagher said Elburn’s annual Christmas Stroll is a time for family. Friday’s festivities included a bazaar, life-size Candyland game, Santa’s train ride at the community center and other activities at the fire station and library.
“I like spending time with my family and watching my kids do all the Christmas stuff,” Gallagher said.
One of the activities was decorating sugar cookies with brightly colored frosting, which was presented by Jewel. Employees Mary Gustafson of Elburn and Michelle Mohn of Maple Park guided children while they created trees and stars on their cookies.
Gustafson said some children don’t care about making a design; they just squirt frosting about two inches thick on the cookies and eat them.
“Their moms would never let them do that at home,” said Gustafson, laughing.
Jacob Lynch of Elburn helped his daughter, Sophie, 2, navigate the blue, green and red frosting on her cookie. He was there with his wife, Sara, and other daughter, Stella, 6 months.
“It’s a great community event,” Lynch said. “Christmas theme, bringing everybody together, get the kids out and let them run around and a lot of adult stuff, too.”
At the Town and Country Public Library, holiday revelers packed in to hear the Kaneland High School Madrigals, and have a crown or animal made out of balloons.
Terri Rhodes of Elburn held a balloon dragon for her son, Tyler, 8, as they waited for the Madrigals, in their intricate Renaissance costumes, to sing.
“Lots of people and lots of fun,” Rhodes said.