Gerald Subaru trolley rides part of holiday magic in St. Charles

  • Horse-drawn trolley rides in St. Charles' Holiday Homecoming are sponsored by Gerald Subaru of North Aurora.

    Horse-drawn trolley rides in St. Charles' Holiday Homecoming are sponsored by Gerald Subaru of North Aurora.

  • Santa's House on First Street Plaza in Downtown St. Charles will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 22.

    Santa's House on First Street Plaza in Downtown St. Charles will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 22.

 
Updated 12/4/2019 4:47 PM

The city of St. Charles knows how to throw a holiday party the whole town can enjoy. Every year, the city gathers for St. Charles Holiday Homecoming, a weekend-long affair that ushers in the holidays in a grand and dazzling fashion.

This year, the festivities will begin on Nov. 29 with the Lighting of the Lights in the First Street Plaza downtown at 5 p.m. Carolers from St. Charles East and North High School chorales will entertain the crowd before Mayor Ray Rogina and a special guest flip the switch to turn on the city's holiday lights. Restaurants and shops will stay open as families stroll through downtown St. Charles, enjoying special shopping, treats and activities provided by the businesses on First Street. The evening ends with a special appearance from Santa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

St. Charles Holiday Homecoming continues on Nov. 30 with a free showing of "The Grinch" at the Arcada Theatre at 10 a.m. Throughout the day, visitors can shop local in honor of Small Business Saturday and attend several festival activities. Beginning at 1 p.m., attendees can stop by Santa's House in First Street Plaza, take in the downtown shops' Live Holiday Window Displays featuring students from local dance companies and enjoy free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides, courtesy of sponsor Gerald Subaru of North Aurora. Gerald Subaru is also providing hot chocolate and giveaways for kids riding the trolley. The main event, the Electric Christmas Parade, begins at 5:30 p.m. and makes its way along Main Street between Sixth and Fourth avenues.

"It's really magical when you see every entryway lit with Christmas lights and you see Main Street -- which is usually such a busy thoroughfare -- shut down so people can walk around and the kids can line the street to wait for Santa, who closes out the parade," said Laura Purdy, Tourism and Sales Manager at the St. Charles Business Alliance.

All Holiday Homecoming events are free to the public. Hotels in St. Charles run specials on rooms that weekend and a few spots -- Pheasant Run Resort and Quality Inn & Suites -- are pet-friendly, making the event an affordable and fun day or weekend-long family outing for all members of the family.

For more information, visit www.stcholidayhomecoming.com.

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