Holiday Lights 2018-12-07 090
Local News

Homewood celebrates the season with Holiday Lights, Miracle on Martin events

Homewood will embrace the holiday spirit with two events in December, Holiday Lights and Miracle on Martin, but the celebration really begins on Nov. 30 with Small Business Saturday.

The annual promotion helps launch the holiday shopping season and encourages people to shop local. 

  A youngster gets a 
  moderately high five 
  during a carousel ride
  at Holiday Lights last 
  year. The carousel will 
  be back this year. 

  (Chronicle file photo)

It will also mark the unveiling of the eye-catching and interactive “I Spy” windows created by designer Carrie Malfeo. This year’s theme is “The Snowy Day,” inspired by the classic Ezra Jack Keats book. 

Members of the Homewood Business Association will have progressive discounts available throughout the day. 

The Homewood Science Center will have its STEAM shop open, with toys and gifts that inspire wonder and pursuit of scientific inquiry. The shop’s first day was Nov. 15 and it will be open on Fridays from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. during the holiday season.

Kids and adults can stay and play in the Imagination Playground or STEAM studio. The cost is $10 for up to 2 adults and 2 children, $5 per additional child. Kids under 3 are free. Admission is free with a $25 purchase in the STEAM shop. 

Holiday Lights
Holiday Lights in Homewood will take place throughout downtown Homewood from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and Miracle on Martin Avenue will bring holiday cheer to Martin Square from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. 

  Returning this year is 
  the popular dance 
  performance in the 
  windows of the American 
  Dance Center on Ridge
(Chronicle file

Holiday Lights provides all the holiday traditions in one evening, including the tree-lighting tradition in Irwin Park, where Santa Claus will hit the big switch to illuminate the community Christmas tree.

At 5 p.m., the Martin Avenue outdoor market opens, hosting food vendors including LaVoute Bistro and Bar, Cynthia’s Gumbo, EmpanadUS, Mae’s BBQ,  Nola’s Soups, Say Cheese, Aurelio’s Pizza and Mother Wilma’s Marshmallow Factory. 

Many downtown stores will be open for holiday shopping, too.

Also on Martin Ave from Ridge to Kroner, will be an antique carousel, music by the Southwest Community Brass Ensemble, sponsored by Kirschner Vision Group, and two ice sculpting demonstrations by Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. 

The carousel made its debut last year, parked in the intersection of Martin Avenue and Ridge Road, and was popular with festival goers. The carousel is sponsored this year by St. Joseph’s Athletic Association, Aurelio’s Pizza, Homewood Softball and Baseball, Homewood Chevy, BMO Harris Bank, Hoekstra, Lisa Grant, Travel Broker, TBEggert Insurances and Grape and Grain.  

  Kids will have a chance 
  to meet with Santa Claus 
  after the tree-lighting 
  ceremony at 7 p.m. in 
  Irwin Park.
  file photo)

A few minutes before 7 p.m., an antique car parade will help kick off the tree lighting ceremony at Irwin Park, 1900 Ridge Road. Santa and his friends arrive on a Homewood Fire Department engine to flip the switch at 7 p.m. for the grand tree lighting. Santa will greet children in the gazebo at the park from 7:30 to 9 p.m. 

Ridge Road will be closed to traffic during the event so visitors can enjoy Holiday Lights on foot. A free trolley transports festivalgoers around the event. 

The Cancer Support Center is back selling premium-grade Fraser fir trees and garland from Michigan with easy pick-up and loading assistance at Martin Avenue and Kroner Lane, a new location this year. Pre-sales are available through Nov. 24 at 

In a first this year, GoodSpeed Cycle will offer tree delivery by bicycle for a $15 fee. The proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Support Center.

A popular Holiday Lights tradition will be back as the fanciful American Dance studio windows decorated as a  winter wonderland with performances by ballerinas that can be viewed from the sidewalk.

The Homewood-Flossmoor High Band musicians will host a cookie decorating fundraiser with proceeds going to help fund their European performance tour in spring 2020. 

The Homewood Science Center, 18022 Dixie Highway, will host a Holiday Making & Movie Party from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring a free screening of “Elf” in the Michael Wexler Theater. Visitors can also participate in $5 activities in Santa’s Workshop and browse the PopUp SCIENCE Shop.

St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Athletic Committee and South Suburban Family Shelter are sponsoring a holiday craft station for kids. 

Also available will be holiday souvenir mugs, with or without mulled wine, from Homewood’s Economic Development and Community Relations Committees.

Other vendor and activity booths will include Pop’s Popcorn; Homewood Bat;  

Homewood Baseball and Softball, with ornament decorating; Faith Lutheran, offering cookies and hot chocolate; St. Andrews with cozy knitted scarves; 
“Homewood’s Holiday Lights is a fun-filled event for the entire family,” said Mayor Rich Hofeld. “After the 7 p.m. tree lighting, wander the downtown and explore our outdoor marketplace. Shopping, dining options and kids activities, including a vintage carousel, make for a memorable evening for everyone.”

Miracle on Martin
On Dec. 14, Miracle on Martin Avenue is from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Visitors can enjoy a bonfire in Martin Avenue Square. LaVoute Bistro and Bar will have s’mores and beverages available to take the chill away.

The Homewood Science Center has Santa and a sensory-friendly holiday scene that sets the perfect backdrop for a quiet visit with the big guy himself. 

Horse-drawn carriage rides are available through the downtown area. Holiday characters will stroll Martin Avenue, a perfect photo opportunity for kids and adults. 

Miracle on Martin is a good opportunity to peer at downtown windows and participate in the “I Spy” activity. Maps will be provided to help families hunt for items hidden in the window designs. 


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