A buzz of excitement filled Cicero’s Community Park as residents gathered to kick off the Christmas season on Dec. 1.
The annual start to the town’s slate of holiday events and programs featured an array of activities focused on family. Kids painted ceramic ornaments for their trees, and families listened to upbeat Christmas carols while waiting for the official lighting of the town’s Christmas lights lining the streets around the park at 34th and Laramie as well as Cicero’s Town Hall.
“This is a wonderful event that helps put many of us in the holiday spirit,” said Town Assessor Emilio “Emo” Cundari. Over the past several years, the start of the Christmas season has also meant the beginning of the Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink’s ice skating season.
When kids weren’t strolling around on the ice or decorating ornaments, they were enjoying a special visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who make a point to visit Cicero as early as they can.
“I have it on good authority that we had a record number of good kids this year,” said Town President Larry Dominick. “The joy of seeing their faces light up when they see Santa makes all of this worth it.”
Residents didn’t leave the celebration before picking up new hats and gloves for the kids, courtesy of Dominick and his family.
“We’ve seen record cold come into our region in January and February for the past few years. I don’t want anyone to suffer through that without having something to keep their heads and hands warms—especially during school days when kids are walking to school or home from school.”
The annual Christmas in the Park has become a joint festival with the Department of Parks and Recreations and the Cicero Youth Commission.
“It’s great to see so many smiling faces, especially with the way the kids get involved in so many fun games and activities in the town,” said Town Trustee Larry Banks. “It’s one of the best ways to start such an important holiday.”