Glen Ellyn's Holiday Walk & Tree Lighting returns Nov. 26

The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce will host its 45th annual Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 26.

First started in 1975, the holiday walk was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

"This is a true annual tradition passed down through generations for Glen Ellyn," said Dawn Smith, the chamber's executive director. "Always the Friday after Thanksgiving, families gather on the closed streets under the twinkling lights of quaint Glen Ellyn to see Santa march down from the firehouse to be lifted up for all to see by a fire engine, and light the beautifully decorated tree.

"You will always find your friends with their families gathered in the holiday spirit, while in awe of the beautifully decorated storefronts … open for holiday shopping and specials," she said. "Families stay after Thanksgiving, just to make the Holiday Walk."

Gathering for the Holiday Walk will start at 5 p.m. with music around the Christmas tree on Main Street and downtown shopping. Santa will emerge from the firehouse at 6 p.m. and start his march down Main Street to light the star on top of the tree at 6:30 p.m.

Afterward, Santa will return to the firehouse for photos and to grant wishes, hand out candy canes, and hot cocoa until 8:30 p.m.

Do some gift shopping downtown as many stores are staying open late and providing sweets for their guests.

Also, check out the storefront windows decorated for the holidays with the theme, "Ring in the New Year!" The windows will be judged on Wednesday, Nov. 24. See who wins "The Green Branch" best overall award, as well as Best Interpretation of Theme; Best Representation of Business; Best Children's Theme; and three honorable mentions.

On Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, bring the kids for free holiday movies at 10:30 a.m. at the Glen Art Theatre, 540 Crescent Blvd. It will open with "Arthur Christmas" on Nov. 27, "Elf" on Dec. 4, "Polar Express" on Dec. 11, and "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" on Dec. 18.

On Shop Small Saturday Nov. 27, stop by for the kickoff event for Polar Plaza, pop-up skating rink, from noon to 3 p.m. at 501 Crescent Blvd. The Glen Ellyn Chamber is partnering with the Village of Glen Ellyn and the Glen Ellyn Park District in a day of fun activities for the whole family. Bring the kids to see Santa and participate in a toy drive, listen to live Christmas music, watch figure skater performances, drink some hot cocoa and funnel cakes, go on a scavenger hunt, while doing some holiday shopping in Glen Ellyn.

From noon to 3 p.m., get a free "Picture with Santa." Snap a picture on Santa's lap and help spread the magic of Christmas by bringing any new unwrapped toy for the Glen Ellyn Junior Woman's Club's annual toy drive. For details, visit

Then explore Glen Ellyn on a Holiday Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Find all your clues and redeem for a prize! There also will be a Funnel Cake Food Truck, Heavenly Hot Dog Cart & Stam's Hot Cocoa Cart.

At 12:15 and 1:15 p.m., see Glen Crest figure skater Aleksandra Johnson. The Glenbard South High School Raider Voices will perform at 12:30 p.m., followed by an announcement of the Go Green Glen Ellyn Fall Photo Contest at 1 p.m.

From 1:30 to 3 p.m., "Rock Around the Block" with Jenny V James & the Flames singing your favorite holiday songs.

For information regarding all the holiday events, visit

The Polar Plaza will be open Nov. 24 through Presidents Day Feb. 21. The 60-foot by 40-foot synthetic ice skating rink will be open noon to 9 p.m. daily in the Glenwood/Crescent parking lot. The McChesney parking lot will remain open throughout Polar Plaza. The rink, which has a limit of 50 skaters at a time, is free to residents and visitors to the area. Participants are skating at their own risk and must bring their own ice skates as rentals are not available on site.

New this season will be two iceless curling lanes beginning Dec. 2. Visitors can play for up to 40 minutes using equipment checked out from the on-site curling shelter attendant. It's free! It will be open 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. It will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve Dec. 24 and New Year's Eve Dec. 31. For details, visit

Don't forget while at the Holiday Walk to mail your letter to Santa. The special Letters to Santa "mailbox" will be on the northeast corner of Main Street and Crescent Boulevard from Nov. 24 to Dec. 19. Letters mailed to Santa, with a return address, will receive a personalized response and signed photo.

The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce encourages residents and visitors to shop locally this year. Shop Small promotions for Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday will be found at

The theme for last year's Holiday Window Decorating Contest was "Tree of Hope." See this year's contest, with the theme, "Ring in the New Year" starting Wednesday, Nov. 24. Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce
Glen Ellyn's very own Letters to Santa mailbox is returning to the northeast corner of Main Street and Crescent Boulevard. Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce
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