North School Park in Arlington Heights sprang merrily to life Friday afternoon, as tens of thousands of twinkling lights marked the start of the holiday season.
Bundled up against the cold, families gathered in the park to take part in the traditional celebration, watching as Mayor Tom Hayes presided over his first village tree lighting.
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The Arlington Heights Park District's lighted toy display fills the park, and the downtown's tree-lined streets are lit with twinkling white lights.
This year the Special Events Commission added food trucks to the event, so as they listened to carolers, residents munched on kettle corn, hot chocolate and other treats.