Barbara Read was pleasantly surprised with Huntley’s first Holiday Lights Parade.
“For the first (holiday) parade, I think it went really well,” said Read, village management assistant and coordinator for the parade.
The parade’s 12 entries started their march at 3:30 p.m. Saturday from Ol’ Timers Park and proceeded to James Dhamer Park.
Dance Force Studios of Huntley presented the largest contingent. Approximately 50 dancers of all ages performed an energetic dance number and earned the “Show Stopper” award.
Parade judges gave “Best Theme” entry to the Friends of Huntley Area Public Library District, who were decked out in holly green. “Best Float Design” went to Cliff Surges for his political “Surges for Senate” float, Read said.
Other participants included a giant, inflatable Scoopie mascot from Culver’s of Huntley; several well-trained canines from CAR-DUN-AL Obedience Dog Training Club of Huntley; player and parent members from Huntley Baseball League; and Walgreens workers pushing a shopping cart to collect toys for needy children from parade watchers.
“I think we probably had about 300 people come out to watch the parade and meet Santa,” Read said.
This is the fourth year Huntley has held Christmas on the Square. Read helped organize the many events for that celebration as well.
The Kris Kringle Market, held in the First Congregational Church, 11628 Main St., was packed with home-business crafters and vendors from Huntley’s summer farmer’s market. In the basement, the church’s bell choir coordinated a cookie-walk fundraiser, a popular attraction with children.
Since there were more crafters than the church could fit, several vendors set up booths in the American Legion Hall, 11712 W. Coral St., and sold a variety of holiday gift items. There, volunteers also oversaw children’s craft activities, and Huntley library staff read Christmas stories.
At Trinity Lutheran Church, 11008 N. Church Street, several teens filled the roles of Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels. The group performed a live nativity scene alongside a donkey and calf, both of whom appeared oblivious to onlookers.
Read was thankful Huntley residents didn’t let a little morning rain dampen the Christmas on the Square festivities. Many events, like the Kris Kringle Market and children’s crafts were held indoors, but the hayrides, carolers and live nativity scene were outdoors.
“The morning was a little slow because of the rain, but even so, we had a steady stream of visitors all day long at the Kris Kringle Market,” Read said. “And we had a lot of people stop by the Chamber of Commerce office to visit Mrs. Claus all day.”
The village of Huntley co-sponsors the day, along with the Huntley Jaycees, Friends of the Library, the Huntley Park District and local churches.