A Very Merry Holiday on the Town: Day 1

By Annaliese Harper

Snow falls a week before the event, as the town prepares for a holiday celebration. The streetlights are decorated with tinsel and garland, the houses are decorated with lights, and the children are decorated with merry grins and smiles.

A Very Merry Huntley, the annual holiday event, kicked off Friday, Dec 6. Some of the day’s events included a Kris Kringle market, a book sale, live reindeer, and various children’s events.

Any person heading into the Huntley municipal building is greeted by a smiling, nearly 10-feet-tall snowman and his buddies. He welcomes everyone, a very merry spirit who balances a top hat.

His favorite spot to be “cool” has been hosting and celebrating a variety of events since 2014; however, the town has been having an annual tree lighting ceremony since 2008.

Barb Read has been in charge of organizing this event every year since it became big, and she always has some people to think of whenever she does it.

“When I do these events, I think about my granddaughters. I have a 6-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old granddaughter, and whenever I do, I’m like, ‘what would the kids- what would the little kids, what would they like?’ So they’re my inspiration,” Read said.

Out front of the event are two distinct sections. In one, First National Bank hands out free hot chocolate and glowsticks. In the other, sits two reindeer and their handlers. As well as this, the outside is covered in lights. 

Directly inside sits three booths and Mrs. Claus. Two are selling their goods while the other is the civilian police, helping out and directing people.

In a small room to the side is cookie decorating for the little kids. This area features high school volunteers making everything run smoothly.

Through a penguin arch back in the main lobby is the craft fair, with smiling faces and enthusiastic artists.

Across the street, a free ticketed event goes on at the library.

Throughout the building is a scavenger hunt, identified by iconic children’s characters. 

Down the hall is a variety of activities, including book sales, live music by Andy Huber, and face paint, at this time handled by Miss Mchenry, HHS alumnae Deepa Dhillon, Miss Teen Mchenry, and Miss LITH, as well as some of the little princesses.

After being granted a very exclusive interview, I found out that the little princesses enjoyed many aspects of the pageant, including:

  • Winning
  • Wearing dresses (which was also repeated later)
  • Spending time with the queens and other princesses

Back in the fireplace room, children take pictures with Santa and a winter wonderland backdrop.

One set of siblings confirms that they have been good, and made sure Santa known they want a big box of legos.

Santa will be back tomorrow for the children that weren’t able to attend, at another event in town square.