Lake Forest’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Preview


Katie Bondoc, Staff Writer

This Friday evening, Lake Forest’s Market Square on Western Avenue will be set aglow by thousands of twinkling lights strung throughout its treetops. Presented by The Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation, Lake Forest’s 36th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony will be one to remember.

The holiday festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a showing of Home Alone in the John & Nancy Hughes theater at the Gorton Community Center.

“It’s a sell out and now part of our annual Fa La La Film Fest,” Director of Development at the Gorton Center, Catherine Yehle, said. Tickets for the event will be five dollars.

Yehle has helped put together and present the film fest as well as other Gorton Center activities for the past five years.

“My favorite part of my job is feeling such a part of our wonderful strong community and seeing everyone walk in our doors to attend a movie, a concert, or a class,” she said.

Following the movie, there will be an Ice Sculpting performance by Art Below Zero at 3 p.m., as well as an arts and crafts activity and the opportunity for children to make a holiday ornament to be hung on the Christmas tree.

Also for the children (and children at heart), there will be a visit from Santa Claus from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with hot chocolate and donut holes provided by Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company.

But the fun has barely begun—at 4:30 p.m. the Lake Forest High School Choristers will spread the holiday spirit by caroling.

“I like that its an informal setting—it’s not just like singing in the auditorium again,” Lake Forest senior and chorister Sarah Bires said. “Everyone dresses up in holiday colors and alumni who used to be in choir can come and sing, which is a lot of fun.”

The choir sings a variety of well known holiday songs up until it’s time for the lights to dazzle the historic square. When this occurs, they will sing a four-part composition of ‘Hallelujah.’

Lake Forest Dance Academy performs at 5 p.m. then shortly after, Market Square will be lit up by twinkling lights, marking the true beginning of the holiday season.