Student talent sparkles before Frosty Fest Dec. 7

  • Kezziah Depaz, a Leman Middle School sixth-grader, wins the Frosty Fest Contest in the category of mixed media.

    Kezziah Depaz, a Leman Middle School sixth-grader, wins the Frosty Fest Contest in the category of mixed media. Courtesy of City of West Chicago

Submitted by Rosemary Mackey
Updated 12/6/2019 4:24 PM

For more than 10 years, elementary school children in West Chicago have been invited to participate in a project that connects them to the city in a special way for the holidays.

A student essay contest that rewards three winners in each grade category with a classroom visit, ride in the mayor's horse-drawn Frosty Fest carriage, and a very important role in lighting the official tree, has been an annual tradition.


This year, after surveying teachers and working with District 33 staff, the Frosty Fest Committee restructured the contest to a new format that encourages more creativity through the addition of an art and mixed media category. The effort was a great success, and the city received 75 submissions with every grade level represented from kindergarten to sixth grade.

Submissions came in the form of essays, dioramas, poster storyboards, comic books, PowerPoint presentations, and a wide variety of art pieces. Submissions were judged by staff from the West Chicago Public Library and the City of West Chicago, and all admitted it was a difficult task due to the quality and number of so many fantastic submissions.

After several hours of review and deliberation, one student was chosen for each submission category and Mayor Ruben Pineda visited those schools.

The winning students are sixth-grader Kezziah Depaz from Leman Middle School, in the mixed media category; Drew Williamson, a fourth-grader from Gary School for his essay; and Turner School second-grader Nicholas Allen for his artwork.

All submissions will be on display at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington St., beginning Saturday, Dec. 7, and will remain on display through the month of December.

A full schedule of all the activities of Frosty Fest from 4 to 7 p.m. in downtown West Chicago, is now available on the city's website,

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