ST. CHARLES – St. Charles’ annual Holiday Homecoming event returns downtown on Nov. 24 and 25 for a Santa-inspired slate of free activities.
The kickoff to the holiday season in St. Charles begins at 5 p.m. Nov. 24 with the lighting of the lights in the First Street Plaza. The Electric Christmas Parade, set for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25, caps the whirlwind weekend, which offers plenty of festivities in between.
“We have just a phenomenal group of volunteers who work year-round to get this event going,” said Jenna Sawicki, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, which hosts Holiday Homecoming. “We’ve got it down to quite a science at this point, and every year we just work to make it better.”
Many familiar faces and attractions are back. To start, expect appearances from Santa Claus and St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina at the lights ceremony, as well as performances from the chorales at St. Charles East and St. Charles North high schools.
You can see former child star Macaulay Culkin the next day – albeit on the silver screen. The Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., will host a free showing of the 1990 family holiday classic “Home Alone” at 10 a.m. Nov. 25. Doors open at 9 a.m.
Other activities abound after the movie, including horse-drawn sleigh rides and visits to Santa’s House in the First Street Plaza, both scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. From 1 to 5 p.m., dancers from St. Charles dance schools and troupes will perform in live holiday window displays at 17 participating downtown businesses, dressed as ballerinas or in other themes from “The Nutcracker.”
Six businesses participated in the holiday window displays in 2016, and the partnership is encouraged by the growth in popularity.
“It’s exciting,” Sawicki said. “It’s spread out a lot more.”
Members of the Salas family, owners of the adjacent Hotel Baker, will serve as grand marshals of the Electric Parade, where festive, illuminated floats delight spectators gathered along the route on Main Street between Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue.
The hotel is nearing its 90th anniversary.
“We always are keeping our eyes and ears open for a grand marshal,” Sawicki said. “We wanted to … celebrate 90 years of the Hotel Baker, which is another iconic, historic marker in our downtown.”
For information about Holiday Homecoming, visit www.downtownstcharles.org/dscp_events/holiday-homecoming.
Are you excited for the annual Holiday Homecoming in St. Charles? We are too, which is why we’re offering a free pop-up newsletter. If you’re looking for event details, when something is happening, information on the history of Holiday Homecoming, etc., we’ll send it to you, in three newsletters in November. Sign up at www.kcchronicle.com/newsletter/holiday-homecoming.