Stroll over to Christmas Walk

Annual Hinsdale event - and a jolly old elf - usher in holiday season


Last updated 11/30/2022 at 5:33pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

Hinsdale's Washington Street teems with revelers at last year's Christmas Walk, the traditional local kickoff to the holiday season. This year's event is from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow in the downtown business district, beginning with Santa's arrival and a tree lighting on the Memorial Hall lawn, and continuing with carousel rides, a trackless train, giveaways from businesses and more. (file photo)

The lights have been hung 'round the downtown with care, which means the village's Christmas Walk soon will be here.

And so it will, as the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce and Razny Jewelers present the 56th annual holiday event from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 2, throughout the downtown business district.

This highly anticipated kickoff to the holiday season will include all the favorite participants and activities that have made it such a must-attend gathering for families.

Keeping with tradition, the festivities will begin with the arrival of Santa Claus by Hinsdale fire truck to join Village President Tom Cauley for the holiday tree lighting ceremony on the Memorial Hall lawn. Amanda Wagner, marketing director for the chamber, experienced her first Christmas Walk last year and said the lighting switched on her seasonal spirit.

"I loved it and thought it was totally adorable," Wagner remarked. "It is so magical."

Santa will then take up residence in his Burlington Park workshop to meet and greet young wish list bearers.

The rest of the fun will shift north of the railroad tracks, centered around the intersection of Washington and First streets. The classic carousel will be on First to the west of Washington, while the trackless train will welcome riders on the crossing's opposite side. A bonfire in the middle of the intersection will provide a warm attraction for celebrants to enjoy fellowship.

Wagner said 27 chamber members will have booths set up along Washington Street for visitors to check out.

"I think that's relatively high, so I'm excited about that," Wagner said of the number of participants. "We do have a lot that are going to be doing hot chocolate and hot apple cider and lots of fun giveaways."

Hinsdale Adventist Academy choir members will lend their joyful sounds to the event, starting at the Memorial Hall tree lighting and Burlington Park before making their way through downtown to the bonfire.

Wagner said she's sensing an energy and excitement from the community heading into the walk. "It should be a pretty big party in the streets," she said.

To accommodate all the activity during the event, Washington Street will be closed from First Street to the railroad tracks, as will First between Garfield and Lincoln streets, and Hinsdale Avenue from Village Place to Lincoln.

For those who aren't able to get an audience with Santa on Friday night, Kris Kringle will be in his workshop on two Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That's also the time the village will provide free horse-drawn carriage rides and serve up gingerbread cookies in Burlington Park.

Wagner encouraged residents to join the fun, especially with unseasonably mild conditions in the forecast. A number of stores also are expected to be welcoming patrons looking to tick off items on that holiday shopping list.

"Come on out and visit all our businesses that will be out there and our shops that will be open," Wagner said. "We don't want anyone to miss it. It's a great tradition."

Tomorrow, Dec. 2, is also the deadline for the Hinsdale Holiday Trees Ornament. Submit a homemade ornament for the trees in Burlington Park and the a chance to win a prize. Details on ornament design specifications can be found in the Holiday Happenings listing on Page 28. The ornament should be dropped off with the entry form, available, to Village Hall, 19 E. Chicago Ave., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean


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