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Friday, November 30, 2007

Ringing in the Holidays - Des Plaines Style!

It's my first holiday season working in Des Plaines and I must admit, I am impressed. Several of us were interviewing a candidate for a job at the library this evening and as the sky grew darker, I realized how the downtown area had been transformed by wreaths, garland and festive white lights - nothing garish or overdone, just a nice touch of old-fashioned cheer. I'm a sucker for Christmas lights! Just as impressive as the decor is the full schedule of winter and holiday events in town - Scrooge would never have survived in Des Plaines. 
Tonight was the tree-lighting ceremony in Metropolitan Square. Yours truly is under a deadline time crunch which meant foregoing the festivities -- were you there? Tell us about it, I'm quite curious to know how Mayor Arredia made his "surprise entrance!" If you're looking for other ways to warm your spirit and senses this weekend, here are a few suggestions:

Sunday, at the Library, check out the charming violin concert by the "Magical Strings of Youth." Students from the Betty Haag Academy will dazzle you with their musical virtuosity and make you regret those violin lessons you gave up too soon. The Magical Strings of Youth have performed all over the world, for heads of state and to support children's charities. To learn more and to register, click here -- spots are filling quickly. 

The concert goes from 3-4 p.m., and that gives you plenty of time to stop at the Des Plaines History Center, 781 Pearson Street in Des Plaines, for their Holiday Gala. The gala lasts from 1-4 p.m., with an array of delights ranging from live piano music, hot cider and roasted chestnuts, tours of the historic Kinder House, free crafts for kids, holiday shopping in the Yesterdays gift shop - and, rumor has it, an appearance by some SINGING LIBRARIANS. But don't take my word for it, head over to the History Center on Sunday and find out for yourself. For more details, just click here.

The good folks over at the Des Plaines Park District are going all out for the weekend of December 8 & 9 (that's not this weekend, but next weekend - pace yourself!) and their Lake Wonderland Winter Festival. I'm not even a big cold weather, outdoor activities fan, but this event sounds really amazing. The festival is at Lake Park and the Lake Park Clubhouse and it literally offers something for everyone. For the romantic -- horse-drawn sleigh rides and madrigal singers. For kids -- clowns and cartoon characters, outdoor games in the fresh air and free pictures with that lovable if chubby guy who brings the presents. For the artistic type -- dancers, a bell choir, other live music performances and storytelling, including some of DPPL's own Children's librarians! Siberian huskies for the dog lover, pizza for the cheesehead, decorated trees for the Martha Stewart lurking inside each and every one of us -- when I tell you they have something for everyone, I mean it. So support your park district, support the businesses and community organizations who are making this spectacular Lake Wonderland event a reality and get out there next weekend. To learn more, just click here to visit the park district's Web site.

It's not a holiday show, but don't forget the Footlighters Theatre Company's production of "Grease," at the Prairie Lakes Theatre over on Thacker Street. The show runs December 7-15 with ticket prices between $10-15. Support local theatre and the huge variety of programming made available by the Des Plaines Park District by taking a trip back in time with "Grease." For more details, click here.

Is your community organization, church, school or non-profit group preparing a holiday-related event? If you'd like to see it included here in our PlainTalk library blog, post a comment here or email me at Time allowing and space permitting, we will be glad to inform the city about your event. 

Don't forget...SINGING LIBRARIANS...


  1. Don't forget to check out the tree sponsored by the Des Plaines Public Library at the Lake Wonderland Winter Festival this weekend!!

    Our beautiful tree was decorated with paper ornaments- ornaments made by our local teens as well as teens involved in the library's Teen Advisory Board. The group of teenagers came in to the library last Saturday during the snow to make book and library card ornaments for the tree to be decorated with.

    The library is really grateful for their involvement and help making the tree look really awesome!! I know I had a lot of fun making ornaments (as well as hanging them with Roberta), and I think they did as well. So come on and check it out!

  2. Thanks, Cheryl and thanks to all the teens who decorated the library's tree at Lake Wonderland. We are grateful for our teens because without them we would be hopelessly uncool. So get out to Lake Park this weekend, Des Plaines, and you'll see the library's tree plus hear some storytelling from Veronica Schwartz, head of our Youth Services Department.

    P.S. Did you see this week's Des Plaines Times? There were SINGING LIBRARIANS in it!


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