NaperLights holiday display growing in second year
Family favorite light displays from last year's inaugural NaperLights event at Central Park are returning to downtown Naperville this year in a larger venue.
The free holiday light show will be staged at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., from Friday, Nov. 28, through New Year's Day.
Naperville Sunrise Rotary wants to grow the show each year into a family-friendly fundraiser, so the club partnered with the settlement and left the small park just east of Washington Street.
"Our goal was to expand it and there was no way to expand it in that park," said Deb Newman, a spokeswoman for the club.
A long list of sponsors has donated so the club could buy more tree lights than it strung up last year and more large lighted figures, too. But top attractions from last year, such as Santa and his sleigh, a penguin near an igloo and dancing bears, will make a comeback.
Once it opens, visitors can stop by NaperLights from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays until New Year's Day.
"It's a great way to start your evening if you're coming downtown," said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, president and CEO of the settlement. "It's a great way to come and enjoy our city."
Hot chocolate will be offered in the gazebo to warm hands and cure sweet cravings, and several musical performances are scheduled to take place on the settlement grounds or in the chapel.
Concerts might be canceled because of bad weather, but those on the schedule include performers from North Central College from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 and 29; Benet Academy from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12; Metea Valley High School from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; Naperville Central High School from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13; and Waubonsie Valley High School from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19.
Visitors can enter NaperLights through the gates on Webster Street or Porter Avenue, but the Pre-Emption House and other buildings on the settlement grounds will not be open during the light show.
"This is the first year that we're doing NaperLights with the Rotary Club," Tamayo-Calabrese said. "At least for this year, we think it's a great home."