The Joliet City Center Partnership (CCP) is proud to host the 25th annual Light up the Holidays Festival Parade, sponsored by the University of St. Francis, in Downtown Joliet. This event is held on Friday, November 24th with free activities beginning at 10 a.m. and culminating in the annual parade at 5:30 p.m. Sponsors of these activities include University of St. Francis, City of Joliet, Old National Bank, Midland States Bank, Adler Roofing, Ascension Saint Joseph Joliet, D’Arcy Buick GMC, First Secure Bank, Busey Bank, Tirapelli Ford, AFLAC, and the Arkas Restaurant Group.
The day begins with the North Pole Christmas Market at the Renaissance Center from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. where shoppers can find unique and personalized Christmas gifts. Kids and adults alike will enjoy photos with characters from their favorite movies throughout the day at the Renaissance Center as well as visits with Santa at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. The North Pole Park, located across from the Rialto Square Theatre, will provide free activities from 1:30-5:30 p.m. including an iceless skating rink, ice carving demonstration, giant inflatable snow globe, and rides on the kiddie ferris wheel and train. In addition, visitors will enjoy the horse-drawn carriage rides which will be available from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Join the Joliet Central Madrigal Singers before the tree lighting ceremony which will begin at 5:15 p.m. The much anticipated 25th annual parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. and features the following bands: Laraway School Band, Joliet Central High School Band, Joliet West High School Band, Troy Middle School Marching Band, Joliet Police Pipe and Drums, Wilmington High School Marching Band and Color Guard, Joliet Central High School Marching Band, and the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Student Choirs.
Downtown Businesses will also provide activities throughout the day. New this year – a 25th anniversary commemorative mug will be available for purchase at the North Pole Christmas Market, Jitters, Yura Nuna, Richardson’s, The Blue Taco and Chicago Street Pub. The Rialto Square Theatre will once again host the popular Teddy Bear Tea with seatings at 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Other businesses will have free entertainment and/or specials including (but not limited to) Jitters, Joliet Public Library, The Nail Inn Academy, Yura Nuna, The Blue Taco, C & C Vision Gallery, and the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum.
“We want people to visit Downtown Joliet and all it has to offer during the most wonderful time of the year,” stated Priscilla Cordero, Executive Director of the City Center Partnership.
The Light up the Holidays Festival and Parade is one of many downtown events produced by the Joliet City Center Partnership in order to provide an opportunity to showcase and promote downtown businesses and boost community pride among Joliet residents and visitors. For more information on this event visit www.jolietccp.com/holidays.