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updated: 11/29/2012 2:11 PM

Downtown Elgin lights up with holiday fun

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  • Westley Johnson, 3, of Elgin, examines lights during the last year's tree lighting ceremony in downtown Elgin. This year's tree lighting is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

      Westley Johnson, 3, of Elgin, examines lights during the last year's tree lighting ceremony in downtown Elgin. This year's tree lighting is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
    Daily Herald File Photo

Submitted by city of Elgin

The holidays will kick off in downtown Elgin on Saturday, Dec. 1, with the annual city of Elgin Tree Lighting Ceremony, and a day full of family fun.

Events begin at noon with free skate rental at City Skate, located on the Civic Plaza next to the Hemmens Cultural Center. From 3:30-4:30 p.m., enjoy a Winter Kaleidoscope Concert featuring the Jazz Consortium Big Band.

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The holiday tree lighting ceremony will start promptly at 5 p.m. on the Civic Center Plaza, located next to the Hemmens Cultural Center. The event will include a welcome by Mayor David Kaptain, performance by the Elgin Children's Chorus and the lighting of the tree by city council members and special guest Santa Claus. City Skate will remain open until 9 p.m. The event is free and open to all. For information, call Barb Keselica, Special Events Coordinator, at (847) 531-7056.

The fun continues Saturday evening at the Hemmens Cultural Center when GreenRoom Productions returns to Hemmens lower level Theatre in the Round at 7 p.m. Imagine an hour and a half of complete improvisation. GreenRoom's improvisers take audience suggestions and true-life audience stories and turn them into hilarious theater pieces right before your eyes. General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Holiday entertainment continues the next weekend, Dec. 7-9 at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., eighth floor, when the Cultural Arts Commission presents "Twist-a-Carol III: All About Eves." This holiday extravaganza features skits and songs that put a twist on the usual holiday fare. Join them as they celebrate the highs and lows of this very special season. Featuring an all-new lineup of original plays including the world premiere of "All About Eves," plus "Merry Ex-Mas: The ultimate in family politics," "Silver and Gold: A comedy of Olympic proportions," "Holiday Leftovers: All's fair in love and holidays," "Triple Christmas: It's more than a question of naughty and nice," and "Outlet: Drama at a discount."

This new show is for one weekend only, Friday, Dec. 7 to Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division. Tickets are $10. Available at the door (cash only). Reservations are encouraged. For reservations and show times, visit

For information on these and other city special events and shows, visit

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