The Forest Park Chamber of Commerce is looking to revive an old Forest Park tradition this holiday season by selling luminary kits to residents who wish to join the community in “lighting up Forest Park” on Christmas Eve.
Years ago, Forest Park was illuminated each holiday season by luminaries, which at the time were sold by the village. The tradition, longtime Forest Parkers say, was a unique celebration of the holiday season which brought neighbors together and set the village apart.
“I remember the tradition very well. A couple of years into the program nearly the entire village was lit up on Christmas Eve. It was a great way to pull together as a community and express the true meaning of holiday spirit,” said Reich & Becker owner and long-time Forest Parker Carl Schwebl.
Proceeds from the sales will benefit the Forest Park Community Center’s food pantry and gift basket program as well as the chamber.
The kits, which will be sold during the Chamber’s annual Holiday Walk, will consist of candles donated by Schauer’s Ace Hardware and sand donated by McAdam Landscaping.
They will also be sold on Dec. 10 in Constitution Court from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Dec. 17 at McAdam Landscaping’s garden center, 2001 Desplaines Ave. at the same time.
The kits will sell for $5 and consist of five bags, five candles.
“It’s very satisfying to be involved in the creation of new traditions as well as bringing back some of the old ones,” said Chamber Director Laurie Kokenes.
The holiday walk will take place on Dec. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m., and will feature horse-drawn carriage rides, live reindeer, ice sculpture demonstrations, face painting, and a marshmallow roast.
Merchants have donated about $2,000 in gift certificates, which will be randomly distributed inside holiday walk schedules and by chamber ‘elves’ along Madison Street throughout the event. The certificates must be spent at the sponsoring store by 9 p.m.
Businesses along Madison Street will also hold their own open houses featuring additional attractions along the walk.
Santa will arrive at the walk by fire engine at 6 p.m., and will be back the next day to pose for photos at Forest Park National Bank from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.