St. Joe’s religious education August 2017

Flossmoor Winterfest guests will step into a storybook this year as they join their neighbors Saturday for the annual downtown holiday celebration. 

  Children participate in a 
  craft during a recent 
(Provided photo)

The children’s wintertime book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett is the theme for this year’s Winterfest. Attendees will spot images from the story around town and kids can work on crafts centered around its inspiring tale.

According to Laura Brennan-Levy, Flossmoor’s program and event coordinator, the village this year is partnering with Homewood-Flossmoor Park District to stage Winterfest, which is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in various locations around downtown Flossmoor. 

“Winterfest has been going on for years in different forms, with the Flossmoor Business Association, the village and the library all involved,” Brennan-Levy said. “This year we’re super excited to be partnering with the park district.”

Winterfest begins at 2 p.m. at the Flossmoor Public Library for visits with Santa Claus, holiday stories and crafts. Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun will stop by to read holiday books to the children, including stories about Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Visitors can also try a new virtual reality experience the library is debuting.

At 4:30 p.m., Winterfest-goers will hit the story trail, heading down Sterling Avenue toward Flossmoor Park. As they walk, Brennan-Levy said they’ll follow the story of “The Mitten” via excerpts displayed on store windows along the way.

A couple of village volunteers jumped in to help Brennan-Levy make the walk even more special by creating two window paintings that feature scenes from the book. Visitors can read a page from “The Mitten” and see the image blown up on the window.

“It should be pretty fun to see as you’re walking along,” Brennan-Levy said.

Visitors can also stop into local businesses throughout the evening for crafts and snacks. Among the offerings:

  • Coldwell Banker will host a gingerbread decorating activity.
  • Bakewell Bakery will host a cookie decorating activity.
  • Villager Gift Shop will feature a craft in “The Mitten” theme. 
  • The Bistro on Sterling will offer hot cocoa and feature players from the Homewood-Flossmoor High School orchestra, who are raising money for a performance trip to Germany.
  • Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery will offer chili and beer on the caboose.

At 5 p.m., everyone will gather in Flossmoor Park to watch the Christmas tree and menorah be illuminated for the season. The tree lighting ceremony finds a new home at Flossmoor Park this year, after having been at the library for many years, Brennan-Levy said.

“There’s this big, beautiful evergreen tree in Flossmoor Park,” she said. “So, we got to thinking, ‘Why do we buy a tree every year to bring in when we have this beautiful tree right in town?’”

Wiley’s Grill will offer drinks and treats at the tree-lighting ceremony. Residents can also be guided by escorts down to visit Janet Gustafson, who is opening her home to offer viewings of her masterful Flossmoor-inspired gingerbread town.

The new village holiday tree is sure to be the central attraction, Brennan-Levy said, with its hundreds, if not thousands, of white lights.

“I watched while Dave Becker, the village arborist, was putting the lights on, and there are a lot of lights on that tree,” Brennan-Levy said. “I think it’ll be pretty bright.”

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