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updated: 11/29/2012 4:31 PM

Frosty Fest essay contest winners share favorite holiday food traditions

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  • West Chicago Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda pays a visit to the classrooms of winning essay contest writers, Jack Smith, Shannon McCann and Amanda Jacobucci.

      West Chicago Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda pays a visit to the classrooms of winning essay contest writers, Jack Smith, Shannon McCann and Amanda Jacobucci.
    Krista Coltrin

Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: November 29, 2012 -- The annual tradition of sparking civic engagement through a holiday essay writing contest which is an element of the City of West Chicago's Frosty Fest event scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2012, has yielded a bumper crop of excellent essays.

West Chicago Public Library's Youth Services Manager Joslyn Jones and Public Relations Specialist Shelley Campbell, volunteered for the delightful task of reading through dozens of essays. According to Campbell, the decision to choose one in three categories was tough. "It was so much fun reading all the great essays that were submitted! Some of the illustrations were wonderful. And, if we could have, we would have given a prize to at least 10 or 12 of the essays submitted from each grade - they were that good!"

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The 2012 theme, which changes from year to year, challenged students to write about their favorite holiday food traditions. Many of the entries detailed the ingredients and processes in creating ethnic dishes, which was representative of the rich diversity found in the community; but most struck a familiar chord synonymous with the holiday -- the joy of spending quality time in the kitchen with family.

"As a former chef, I am impressed with the level of interest our young people have for creating or simply enjoying food traditions in their homes. It's a wonderful way for families to celebrate, not only during the holidays but every day of the year," commented Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda.

The following students won in their grade category:

Grades 1 & 2

Jack Smith -- Wegner School (Grade 2)

Grades 3 & 4

Shannon McCann -- Norton Creek (Grade 4)

Grades 5 & 6

Amanda Jacobucci -- Norton Creek (Grade 5)

Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda paid a visit to the students' classrooms to congratulate contest winners and their classmates for their participation. He received a warm welcome from students and teachers.

Winners will receive a ride in a horse-drawn carriage with Acting Mayor Pineda in the Frosty Fest procession which steps off at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2012, on Main Street in front of City Hall and travels west to the Fox Community Center. There, the winners will help "magically" light the holiday tree and all of downtown West Chicago. Plus, winning essays will be posted to the City of West Chicago website.

For a complete schedule of Frosty Fest activities, and to read the three essays, visit

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