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Tree lightings will occur in some local communities

tree lighting photo 12 3 scaled
Photo by Joe Boyle
The annual tree lighting ceremony will take place near the Terrace Centre, 11500 S. Beloit Ave., in Worth. The Worth Park District organized the event, which will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
By Joe Boyle
Tree lightings are being offered in several southwest suburban communities this weekend, but residents are reminded to be cautious due to the recent COVID-19 surge.
In Oak Lawn, the annual “Santa on the Green” event was modified but did take place Saturday at the Village Green. Parents and kids could look on at St. Nick but the visits were done with social distance enforced at the gazebo, which is located adjacent to presently closed Oak Lawn Library near 52nd Street and Dumke Avenue.
The celebration was held entirely outdoors. Kids played games while waiting to see Santa. Frosty the Snowman was on hand to entertain families as well. Photos of children near Santa were taken, but they were socially distant. Kids also received goodie bags.
Children then dropped off stamped letters addressed to Santa Claus. The Oak Lawn Arts Commission helped to organize this different version of Santa on the Green this year.
Visitors to the Village Green will notice that the area is decorated with images of the holiday season, including snowmen and The Grinch. The Nativity scene, a familiar sight during the holidays at 95th Street and Cook Avenue, has also been put up by a local organization.
Tree lighting ceremonies have been canceled in Chicago Ridge, Evergreen Park and Palos Hills.
However, events are being planned elsewhere. The second annual Calvary Church Tree Lighting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 along the church grounds, 10056 S. Central Ave., Oak Lawn.
If it rains, the event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. A 40-foot tall evergreen tree with thousands of lights on the east side of the building will be lit at 6:30 p.m. Friends and neighbors will gather for seasonal music, refreshments and sponsored treats from local businesses. COVID-19 safety rules will be in place.
Kids’ crafts, fire pits with s’mores, a bean bag tournament, Christmas trivia and four free raffle giveaways will be included. Pre-register at the church’s website at ThisisCalvary.org/OakLawn for the event by today (Thursday, Dec. 3) to get four extra entries for the raffle baskets valued from $80 to $200 each. Guests can have their pictures taken at a photo booth.
The event is free to attend. More information can be obtained by calling (708) 429-2200 or visit ThisIsCalvary.org/OakLawn.
The City of Hickory Hills made some adjustments due to the pandemic and held a Drive-In Tree Lighting Ceremony Tuesday at City Hall. While many community events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, the City’s Lights of Hickory Holiday Celebration still took place, but with socially distanced measures and safeguards.
The Hickory Hills Community Affairs Committee Volunteers modified the tree lighting event into a Drive-In Tree Lighting Ceremony to help families get into the holiday spirit. The City Hall Park was transformed into a display of lights. The event was viewed by families from the safety and comfort of their vehicles.
The Worth Park District requested and was granted permission for a street closure for the annual Tree Lighting event, which will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
The village has agreed to close South Beloit Avenue from 115th Street — in front of the park district’s Terrace Centre — to 114th Place. The request was approved during the Worth Village Board meeting held Nov. 17.
While the event will be held outdoors, guests are reminded to practice social distancing when possible and to wear face coverings.

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