ROCKTON — Despite the challenges obtaining sponsorships this year, the Rockton Christmas Walk 2012 will kick off Friday and run through Monday, just as big and merry as ever.
The 28th annual event known for its tree lighting, lighted holiday parade, Santa Claus visits and strong business participation will once again grace the streets of downtown Rockton.
“It’s as big as every other year. We were a little down on sponsorships, but we didn’t want to cut down on anything,” said Chairperson Cory Magnus. “It’s not something we were willing to let die. This is the 28th year.”
Magnus noted Rockton was one of the first municipalities to offer a lighted parade and festival. He credited the Christmas Walk Committee and two to three dozen other volunteers for keeping the event going, with a special nod to Marianne Mueller.
“She is community minded and the drive behind it,” Magnus added.
Although the event was missing a presenting sponsor for 2012, on Tuesday night Chemtool surprised the committee with a sizable donation for Christmas Walk 2012.
For a full listing of events see www.RocktonChamber.com. Here is a sampling of just a few the many activities held as part of Christmas Walk 2012.
The event will kick off on Friday with an array of activities during the day at local businesses. Then at 5:30 p.m. there will be the lighting of luminaries and the arrival of Santa at Village Green Park. After Santa arrives at 6:30 p.m. there will be the lighting of Katie’s tree in a ceremony called “Remembering Katie” Cronin followed by the Lighting of Village Green Park.
On Saturday, the Rockton Lions Annual Pancake Breakfast featuring All-You-Can eat pancakes will be held as well as a special surprise guess for the children at the American Center (Legion) 221 W. Main Street from 7 a.m-11 a.m.
The Candy Cane Craft Fair will be held 7:30 a.m - 3 p.m. at the Greater Rockton Centre, 302 West Main St. on Saturday as well. Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Old Stone Church, 101 E. Union Street from 8 - 11 a.m.
In addition to the countless bake sales to be held around town children will be able to watch Christmas movies in a marathon from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the Rockton United Methodist Church 102 W. Chapel St.The church will then serve an chili supper from 4-7 p.m.
Saturday’s big event will be the famous Lighted Chrstimas Parade at 6 p.m. Magnus said the parade typically attracts 6,000 to 7,000 people. The parade will move down Main Street, starting near Cottage Street and moving to Hononegah High School.
On Sunday, Macktown Living History will be giving wagon rides to the Stephen Mack House in Macktown Forest Preserve, along with refreshments from 8 -11:30 a.m.
From 4 - 6:30 p.m. on Sunday people can watch The Stateline’s Got Talent at Hononegah High School PAC, 307 Salem St. For more information visit www.thestatelinesgottalent.com, or www.facebook.com/ThestatelinesGotTalent. Magnus said there are 14 acts signed up.
On Monday there will be the Talcott Library Book sale from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.