St. Charles Electric Christmas Parade to cap off Holiday Homecoming Weekend
The annual St. Charles Holiday Homecoming Weekend will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26, in downtown St. Charles. This two-day event will feature a variety of free holiday activities.
The event kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday at the 1st Street Plaza with the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony. There will be holiday carols sung by the St. Charles East and North High School Chorales, and an appearance by Santa Claus. This year's official light switcher for the ceremony is St. Charles Police Officer Jennifer Larsen and her family. Larsen was named Kane County Officer of the Year in 2018 for heroic actions that led to her saving the life of an infant.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, there will be a free showing of the movie "Elf" at the Arcada Theatre. The doors for the movie will open at 9 a.m. Starting at 1 p.m., visitors can visit and take pictures with Santa at Santa's House, located at the 1st Street Plaza. Santa will receive visitors in this location from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 18.
Small Business Saturday will take place all day Nov. 26. Many local businesses will offer specials and promotions; see www.stcholidayhomecoming.com/localspecials.
The day culminates with the Electric Christmas Parade in downtown St. Charles starting at 5:30 p.m. The parade will feature holiday music, at least 60 parade entries, and an appearance by Santa Claus.
Darlene Riebe, the 2016 recipient of the Charlemagne Award, has been named Grand Marshal of the parade. Riebe has been a resident of St. Charles since 1978. She worked at the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce for 20 years, starting as the welcome hostess and later becoming the membership director. Currently, she is an ambassador of the Chamber. Riebe also held the position as fundraising coordinator at Lazarus House until her retirement in 2020.
Since 1990, Riebe has been involved with St. Charles parades and festivals. She has been involved in every St. Charles St. Patrick's and holiday parade since 1999, either as the organizer or on the parade committee. She was instrumental in continuing the St. Patrick's Parade after it was canceled, and the transitioning of the Holiday Parade into the nighttime event it is today. Along with all her efforts in the St. Charles parades and festivals, she is currently on the board of the St. Charles History Museum and is the incoming president of the St. Charles Kiwanis.
"We hope that everyone has a chance to come out and celebrate the start of the holidays with the community," said Jenna Sawicki, executive director of the St. Charles Business Alliance. "We also encourage everyone to stop by some of the wonderful St. Charles businesses and support local during Small Business Saturday."
For information on all the Holiday Homecoming activities, visit www.stcholidayhomecoming.com or call (630) 443-3967.