Wilmette, Community

The holidays arrive in New Trier towns with jolly rush of activity

New Trier Township communities Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield and Winnetka were aglow over the past week during their respective holiday kickoffs.


In downtown Wilmette, Saturday, Dec. 4, began with numerous shopping deals at local businesses. Nearby, Santa enjoyed the confines of his snow globe, sponsored by local realtor Carrie Tarzon, of At Properties.  

“I’m thrilled to sponsor a portion of this year’s event. Seeing our town buzzing with families while enjoying all that this season has to offer is truly fantastic,” Tarzon said. 

Later, guests were treated to traditional holiday carols from the New Trier High School swing choir, and the Wilmette Theatre opened its doors for a special viewing of “Elf.”

New Trier students sing carols during the Wilmette lighting on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Wilmette’s event, sponsored by the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce, attracted a large crowd, including Joan Fishman, a resident and former chamber employee, who said the turnout was truly heartwarming.

“I’m excited to see so many young families out here today, enjoying what our Village has to offer. The attendance is fantastic,” Fishman said. 

Wilmette’s event wrapped on the lawn of the Village Hall where Village President Senta Plunkett thanked the many folks who made the event possible. Not long after, she initiated a countdown and the crowd cheered when the newly planted baby tree on the Village Hall Lawn lit up, sparking the informal start of the holiday season. 

Nearby in Kenilworth, Michelle Brookfield, the Kenilworth Assembly Hall manager, also reported success.

Residents enjoyed the tradition of the Holiday Sip & Shop Market. The Joseph Sears School children’s choir sang carols, opportunities for crafting were abundant for children and everyone enjoyed Santa’s descent into town by firetruck. The event culminated in both a Christmas tree and menorah lighting. 

“We were thrilled to come together as a community in person this year to celebrate the holidays,” Brookfield said. “It was a wonderful combination of carrying on traditions like our grand tree lighting and starting new ones like our inaugural menorah lighting. It was a festive evening for both Kenilworth residents and beyond to enjoy the holiday spirit.” 

Chamber Executive Director Julie Yusim added, “It’s wonderful to have a Holiday Happenings that is so much closer to the way we’re used to celebrating.”

The menorah at Clarkson Park was lit as part of the ceremonies on Dec. 1.

A night earlier, Friday, Dec. 3, the Village of Winnetka celebrated its lighting at Dwyer Park, and two nights before then, on Wednesday, Dec. 1, Northfield welcomed community members to Clarkson Park for a holiday extravaganza.

Glencoe opened the area’s festivities by lighting up its downtown on Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving.

Click here to view a list of local holiday events throughout the season.

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Alexa Burnell

Alexa Burnell is a Wilmette resident who has been covering the North Shore for the past seven years, previously for The Wilmette Beacon and its sister newspapers.

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