Palatine residents welcomed the holiday season with a two-day downtown festival capped by the village tree lighting ceremony Saturday evening in Towne Square. The ceremony was to be led by Mayor Jim Schwantz and Santa, with the Palatine Children's Chorus performing.
Among events earlier in the day was a performance by 20 members of the chorus from Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School at the train station and downtown businesses.
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"I am very passionate about singing and the reaction from people is it makes them happy," said chorus member Elena Mandarino, 13.
"It was fun making other people happy," agreed choir member Bronte Phipps, 12.
"Everybody enjoyed it," said music teacher Anne Olson. The students have been training hard, practicing at 7 a.m. before school, she said.
The events were arranged by the Downtown Palatine Business Association.