CRETE | Now in its 22nd year, the annual Crete Country Christmas festivities will take place from Friday through Sunday.
This townwide holiday tradition is full of free events for the entire family. The festivities kick off on Friday night with a Chili Cook-off at Crete Park, free hayrides provided by Gaines Farms, visits with Santa at the Gazebo on Main and Cass streets and an evening bonfire and concert located on the Main Stage at Main and Cass featuring live music by Two Tight and the Neighborhood Blues Band.
Saturday begins with the return of the 5K Run, hosted by the village of Crete at 8 a.m. at Wood and Division streets and will be followed by a Family Scamper Run (0.5K) at 9 a.m.
During the morning, professional ice sculptors will be competing along Main Street demonstrating their amazing art form. New this year is the Christmas Around the World food court at Main and Cass streets, which will be open from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. A variety of culinary treats such as hot chocolate, crepes, pizza and more will be offered by Aurelio’s, Smokey Joes, the Crete Lions, Ultimate Popcorn and others.
On Saturday, free horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered by the Crete Chamber of Commerce. Trolley rides will provide transportation around downtown including the Kris Kringle Market and Craft Show at the Crete Reformed Church. More than 25 local businesses will provide craft projects, games, food and activities for the whole family. The Crete Woman’s Club is hosting a holiday cookie sale at the Township Hall. There will be pizza making at Aurelio's (with an adult food purchase) and holiday cupcake decorating at Sharon’s Custom Cakes.
At 11 a.m., there will be the annual Reindog Contest and Parade beginning at Elizabeth and Cass streets sponsored by The Edge Coffee House. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumed “reindog” and owner.
The Finishing Touch will host visits with Santa and Holly Beary Bear from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., you can enjoy the Happy Hands Puppet Show at Trinity Lutheran Church. From noon to 3 p.m., the Crete Park District will host Crete’s own Don “The Old Toymaker” Floyd, Santa and Tommy the Singing Elf at the Willard Wood Center. A donation to Crete Park Pals earns a free handmade wooden toy that was expertly crafted by Don Floyd.
On Sunday, there is a memorial lights ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Lights may be purchased in the memory of a loved one for $4. Ceremony to take place at the Willard Wood Park Center, 515 First St. Afterwards, stay for refreshments. To purchase lights call Crete Park District at (708) 672-6969.