AMBOY — The 2018 Amboy Christmas Walk will be an exciting mix of fun, new features along with many longtime favorite activities from the past. This is the second year in a row that the event is being held on a Saturday afternoon and evening.
Organizers Meghan Schamberger and Gina McCoy decided on an evening event in 2017 as a way to encourage more participation by businesses and also to provide more of a holiday feel with the Christmas lights on to welcome visitors. And in 2017, the city saw an increase in not only businesses participating, but also an increase in people coming out to the event.
Travel to the businesses outside of downtown will be available again this year by free Musical Trolley Rides offered by the Starved Rock Trolley. Passengers will be able to board the trolley downtown and stop for visits at each location. Stops will include Pankhurst Memorial Library, Santa’s Village at the Depot Museum, Teen Turf, Maple Crossing, Birdget Daniels, The Iron Tree, The Warehouse Boutique and Extreme Installs, and Twigs & Sprigs. At each of these stops, visitors will be welcomed with refreshments and various activities including family crafts at the library and Teen Turf.
As always, the hub of activity will be downtown in Santa’s Village where Santa will take up residence in his “Santa house,” which was donated by Jones Berry. Santa will arrive on an Amboy Fire truck at 4:15 p.m. Santa’s Hut will be open from 4:30 – 8 p.m. Pictures with Santa in his house will be available in exchange for a canned good item or a $1 donation toward the Amboy Junior High Food Drive.
For the second year in a row, the Amboy Christmas Walk will include a Gingerbread House Contest. The houses will be display at the Amboy City Hall. Judging will be done by vote of people attending the event.
Returning favorites will also provide some holiday spirit. Eileen Quest will be on hand to perform at the old bandstand. The Starlight Dance Studio will perform at 4:45 p.m.
The traditional lighting of the City of Amboy’s Christmas Tree will take place at 5:15 p.m. in Santa’s Village.
Over at the Amboy Depot Museum live music will be performed by the Amboy High School Band and Chorus. A reading of the Polar Express will take place at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.
This year, the Amboy Depot Museum will be hosting a Christmas Wreath auction fundraiser. More than 30 businesses have decorated wreaths and displayed them for bidding by the public. On Saturday, the wreaths will be collected and displayed at the Depot Museum where the final biddings will take place. To see pictures of the wreaths the businesses have created, see Section B in today’s paper. Note – a handful of wreaths were not available to photograph as of press time.
While downtown, be sure to have the kids drop off their Letters to Santa at The Amboy News, which will be open at 245 E. Main Street.
As in years past, fire pits will be set up in several places downtown. While warming up around the fire, visitors will be able to toast marshmallows and make the traditional “Amboy S’mores.” Refreshments will also be served inside participating businesses.
For a complete list of what the local businesses will be offering during the event, see Section B of today’s paper.
Except for activities that will be listed as such, all activities at the Christmas Walk are offered at no charge.