Filmmaker Nick Smith will be the grand marshal in this year's Electric Christmas Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, along Main Street in St. Charles. The writer and director of the movie "Munger Road" is being honored for the contributions he has made to St. Charles.
Smith, a graduate of St. Charles North High School and Columbia College, wrote and directed the recently released movie starring Academy Award nominee Bruce Davison. The story revolves around an urban legend, a serial killer and a group of teens that go missing the night before Scarecrow Fest.
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A lifelong resident of St. Charles, Smith could have selected another location to film, but chose his hometown "because St. Charles is an interesting, quaint town," Smith said. "I knew in filming St. Charles, the town itself would become a character in the story. It has historic buildings like Hotel Baker and the Municipal Building that differentiate it from being Any Town, USA." He said that he wanted to show St. Charles in a good light. "It is a reflection on how I feel about St. Charles, which I love."
Jennifer Faivre, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, said, "We are thrilled to have Nick as our grand marshal. His work on 'Munger Road' has brought a lot of positive attention to our city. Along with promoting the movie, Nick is always promoting St. Charles. He represents what we hope continues to happen with children that grow up here … he has a great childhood here, gets a great education here, goes to college and then comes back to St. Charles to do great things. Communities that succeed are the ones that nurture, keep and attract talented people such as Nick."
Smith said that being Grand Marshal is a great honor, but is eager to share the credit of the movie's success. "I think there should be a lot more people up there with me who helped me get the movie off the ground. A lot of people's hard work has paid off." Smith cited the cooperation of the mayor and city officials in helping this become a reality. "It's been a really, really big community effort," Smith said.
"Munger Road," which opened locally on Sept. 30, has gained attention, and is currently playing throughout the Chicago area. As for future plans, Smith said "One of the nicest things to come out of this is to see the community come together. I am looking forward to coming back and doing this again."
Miss Illinois 2011, Hannah Smith (no relation to Nick), also will make an appearance at the Electric Christmas Parade.
The Holiday Homecoming weekend continues with free movies at the Arcada Theatre, free horse-drawn sleigh rides in Lincoln Park and, of course, visits with Santa on the 1st Street Plaza. The festivities conclude Sunday with another free movie at the Arcada Theatre.
To find out more about Holiday Homecoming, visit www.DowntownStCharles.org/HolidayHomecoming. For more information about Munger Road, visit mungerroad.com.