See Santa at South Elgin's An Almost Winter Day Saturday
Though it appears the calendar is lagging a bit behind the weather this year, with wintry conditions showing up ahead of the schedule, South Elgin plans to make the most of the season.
An Almost Winter Day, presented by the village Saturday, Nov. 16, in Seba Park, is a free event in its 17th year that promises an early Santa sighting, food, animals and trolley rides, topped off with the village's seasonal tree lighting.
"It's always the third Saturday in November," said Kim Wascher, director of the parks and recreation department. "It's our kickoff to the holiday season."
Wascher said Santa is expected to arrive at 3 p.m. He'll be available to visit with and take photos with children until about 5 p.m.
For children who prefer to put their messages to Santa in writing, there will be a spot to place letters to Santa where they are sure to catch his attention.
"You drop a letter in the magic mailbox and then a reply is sent to your home," Wascher said.
Children who want to meet animals up close can visit a free petting zoo. There also will be pony rides for a small fee, Wascher said.
The event will offer horse-drawn trolley rides, for a nominal fee, from the nearby Fox River Trolley Museum to the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. Wascher said the holiday tale, "Polar Express" will be read aloud as the trolley rolls over its route.
Wascher said concessions will be available for sale, including hot dogs, candy and coffee. There also will be some free treats.
"We have cups of warm soup," she said. "We have a s'more station."
To really warm up, visitors can enter the nearby South Elgin Annex Building to post letters to Santa and to decorate baked cookies.
"You get to frost them and put sprinkles on them," Wascher said.
The lights on the holiday tree will be switched on at 5 p.m. at the Footprints in Time Plaza at the corner of Route 31 and State Street, she said.
No registration is required for the event, a local favorite.
"Depending on the weather, it can bring out close to 1,000 people," Wascher said.
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17th annual An Almost Winter Day
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16
Where: Seba Park, 151 S. Water St., South Elgin