By Anthony Caciopo
Regional News Editor
As holiday seasons go, it looks like 2018 may be one to remember in Palos Heights.
No one can predict the weather for the event. No one can predict the economy. And certainly, no one can predict if the City Council will sing on-key Dec. 1 at the Palos Heights Public Library.
But it’s sure shaping up to be a festive time around town.
The annual Holiday in the Heights celebration, now in its fourth year, is getting bigger and better.
“This year, we’re going to have 76 vendors and two heated tents,” said Bob Grossart of the Holiday in the Heights Committee. He also serves on the city’s year-round Business and Economic Development Committee.
The vendors and the tents will be part of the Kris Kringle Market, which will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the Municipal Parking Lot, 12217 S. Harlem Ave. The tents measure 60-feet by 90-feet and will be a major stopping point on the multi-day, multi-location holiday event.
“The Kris Kringle Market started last year, and we had 14 vendors and about 200 people show up,” he said, crediting Stacy Schuble, executive director of the Palos Area Chamber of Commerce for the dramatic increase in vendor participation.
Other attractions planned for the Kris Kringle Market are an ice sculptor who will demonstrate his talents on both days, a face painter, two or three food trucks, the Harlem Avenue tree lighting, a food drive, live music and, of course, a visit by Santa.
In fact, Santa will be a much in-demand personality during all the days of Holiday in the Heights. He is also scheduled at the annual holiday tree lighting at lake Katherine Nov. 23 and the Palos Heights Public Library’s “Christmastime in Palos” Dec. 1. And his busy date may grow beyond that.
Times for all some or all the events are still being planned.
Chronologically, the lineup for Holiday in the Heights includes:
· Winter Farmers Market, Nov. 17 in the Orchard Room at the Parks and Recreation Center, 6601 W. 127th St.
· Holiday Tree Lighting Nov. 23 at Lake Katherine Nature Center, 7402 Lake Katherine Drive (College Drive and 74th Ave.)
· Tree Decorating Contest Nov. 23 – 29 at the Art Garden, 123rd Street and 76th Avenue.
· Local Merchant Promotions, Nov. 24 (Small Business Saturday) and throughout the holiday season.
· Kris Kringle Market, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Municiapl Parking Lot, 12217 S. Harlem Ave.
· Christmastime in Palos, Dec. 1 at the Palos Heights Library, 12501 S. 71st Ave.
· Christmastide Concert, Dec. 1 at the Ozinga Chapel of Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Dr.
· Palos Heights Woman’s Club Breakfast, Boutique and House Walk, Dec. 8 starting at the Palos Country Club, 13100 Southwest Hwy., Orland Park.
· Waddle’s Winter Wonderland, Dec. 8 at the Parks and Recreation Center, 6601 W. 127th St.
· Winter Farmers Market, Dec. 15 in the Orchard Room at the Parks and Recreation Center, 6601 W. 127th St.
“The thing that excites me is that for several years, the Business and Economic Development Committee has been working on cross-marketing all the pieces,” said Ald. Jeff Key of Ward 1.
“Whether it’s the library or the college or the rec department, we’re all family, so we’re trying to cross market all those things. To that end, when we send out our e-newsletter, it mentions something that’s happening at the college, the hospital, (etc.). Let’s put this all together.”
Perhaps the most unusual—and whimsical—aspect of Holiday in the Heights for 2018 is “Where’s Wally,” a duo of cardboard cutouts from The Nutcracker ballet.
Key has been placing the Wallys at different spots around the city, posting their locations on social media and urging people to share the postings.
So far, the Wallys have been photographed at about a dozen locations around town, and Key wants to get them in inside or in front of local businesses that would like to host the classic figures.Ken Busse
“For everyone that’s part of the Merchants Program, I’ll go and take a picture in front of their business and have the city post it on social media, and then we’re hash tagging #whereswally and #holidayintheheights.”
A visit by the Wallys can be arranged by emailing Key at email@example.com; Bob Grossart at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ken Busse, the Palos Heights Economic Development coordinator, at email@example.com.
Updated information will be available in coming editions of The Regional News and on this website, as well as the City of Palos Heights’ website, www.palosheights.org.