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posted: 11/9/2012 3:36 PM

Des Plaines to light up for holidays Nov. 30

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Finishing touches are being put on the Des Plaines Annual Holiday Lighting event, Friday afternoon and evening, November 30, 2012, in Metropolitan Square, downtown Des Plaines, behind the Des Plaines Theater, between Lee Street and Pearson Avenue. Enjoy free entertainment and goodies as Des Plaines Mayor Martin J. Moylan and local officials welcome the holiday season by pulling a giant switch lighting up the City's downtown.

At approximately 3:30 PM, Friday, November 30, 2012, local elementary, middle school and high school students and youth-related organizations will decorate holiday trees, donated by the Des Plaines Optimists, in Metropolitan Square with handmade ornaments reflecting the theme "Holidays Around the World."

Currently the following groups are scheduled to decorate trees: Algonquin Middle School, Brentwood Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Chippewa Middle School, Cub Scout Pack 997 from Iroquois Community School and South Elementary School, Cumberland Elementary School, District 62 Foundation, Des Plaines Home Schoolers, Bilingual Parent Advisory Council, Forest Elementary School, Girl Scouts' Brownie Troop 41824 from Iroquois Community School, Immanuel Lutheran School, Iroquois Community School, Lattof YMCA, Maine West High School, North Elementary School, Orchard Place School, Our Lady of Destiny Catholic School, Plainfield Elementary School, Plato Academy, Resurrection High School, Science & Arts Academy, South Elementary, Early Learning Center, St. Andrews Lutheran School, St. Emily Catholic School, St. Mary's Religious Education Program, St. Zachary Catholic School, Terrace Elementary School and Willows Academy.

Once again this year, as in past years, the Des Plaines Fire Department will escort Santa at approximately 4:15 PM into Metropolitan Square on a fire engine where he will greet the public and give away candy canes, compliments of Sam's Club.

The Salvation Army Band will entertain at approximately 4:45 PM, followed by Artistry in Motion, the Des Plaines Park District's Dance Troupe. Around 5:30 PM the Maine West High School Choraliers will sing some holiday classics. Following the medley, Band Director Bernie Gerstmayr and members of the Maine West High School Warrior Band will lead Mayor Moylan and accompanying City Officials into Metro Square where they will be greeted by the Master of Ceremonies, Des Plaines Park District Marketing Manager Gene Haring.

At approximately 6 PM, officials will lead the public in a countdown that culminates on the main stage with the flipping of a giant switch turning on the lights in the downtown.

Adding to the festive atmosphere and thanks to the Salvation Army, hot chocolate and coffee will be available to accompany cookies provided by Sysco. Members of the Des Plaines History Center will offer roasted chestnuts and members of the CrimeStoppers organization will distribute information. Making sure everyone's hands are kept warm, employees of Holy Family Medical Center will distribute hand warmers. Back by popular demand, Kettle Kabin will make and distribute warm kettle corn.

Maine Township Highway Commissioner Robert Provenzano and his Department will provide a hay wagon where families can photograph their children with Santa. Remember to bring your camera! The evening doesn't end with the Lighting Ceremony, as the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner Street, will be showing a holiday feature at approximately 6:30 PM. Everyone is invited to stop by the Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood Street, to view the holiday card exhibit from School District 62 featuring the work of local school children.

Additional sponsors of the Holiday Lighting event are Pesche's Flowers and Gifts, Wheels, O'Hare

Auto Group, First Merit Bank, the Des Plaines Park District, and the Journal & Topics Newspapers. Coinciding with the Holiday Lighting event, Mayor Moylan and the Journal & Topics Newspapers will sponsor a $500 "Holiday Shopping Spree" to Shop & Save Market. Watch for details in the Des Plaines Journal Newspaper and at

"Everyone is invited to our annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony to help welcome in this festive season. This truly is a magical time of year and we want the community to come out and join us in lighting up the downtown. Des Plaines is a great town and it is important that we celebrate the season together and keep our traditions, such as the Lighting Ceremony, alive," Mayor Martin J. Moylan said.

For more information on the Holiday Lighting event contact the Mayor's Office at 847-391-5301.