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As always, the Man in Red is the star of the show at the annual Christmas tree lighting at Wentworth Park, much to the delight of children of all ages. --File photo

As always, the Man in Red is the star of the show at the annual Christmas tree lighting at Wentworth Park, much to the delight of children of all ages. --File photo

Christmas calendar fills up quickly

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

Last week, I wrote about two fun Yuletide events sponsored by our friends at the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce: Snack With Santa and the first-ever Archer Avenue Cookie Walk.

This week, I’ll write about a few more wonderful things happening right here in the neighborhood.

  • A Christmas tree lighting is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 outdoors at Wentworth Park, 57th and Narragansett.

Principal sponsor of this event is the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch. As GRNW Vice President Mike Doherty emphasized at the group’s meeting last month, the tree lighting event “is all for the kids, so please bring your kids or grandkids.”

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As always, the Man in Red is the star of the show at the annual Christmas tree lighting at Wentworth Park, much to the delight of children of all ages. –File photo

The event will be in and around the park’s ice skating rink. The Chicago Park District, an event co-sponsor, is offering free ice time and free skate rental (there is a limited supply of skates, of course).

Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman will most likely arrive on a fire truck, as usual. That’s a fun sight, watching and hearing the little ones squeal with delight when the truck pulls up.

Also for the wee ones, there will be face painting, a petting zoo and rides in a kiddie-sized train.

For moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, there will be a handful of vendors selling holiday-themed craft items, as well as several food trucks parked along Narragansett.

Admission is free. This year, no food may be brought into the event, and no dogs or other animals will be allowed, according to the GRNW.

Finally, if you want to donate to the annual Toys For Tots drive, there will be a receptacle at this event, where you may leave a new, unwrapped toy.

  • Saturday, Dec. 4 is also the final day to donate a new or slightly used winter coat to the 23rd Ward’s annual coat drive. From 10 a.m. to noon that day, volunteers will cheerfully accept your donation at a trailer in the parking lot of the Archer Heights Credit Union, Archer and Nashville. If you want to donate before then, drop off your donation at the office of 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, 6247 S. Archer. Donated items will be distributed to men, women and children in need—as has been case since Al Cacciottolo founded this effort years ago. For more information, call (773) 582-4444.
  • Stories, songs, rhymes and finger play will all be a part of Time for Tots, set for 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at the Garfield Ridge Branch Library, 6348 S. Archer.

This event is suitable for boys and girls ages 2-3. The little ones will learn their numbers, letters and shapes. Children get a take-home craft each week. Early arrivals may color or build a puzzle.

This is a two-session event, with the second session set for the same time on Monday, Dec. 20. Space is limited, and reservations are required. All participants must wear masks. For details, call the library at (312) 747-6094 or send an email to [email protected]

joanhadac 1

Joan Hadac

  • A Christmas tree lighting is set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7 indoors at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St.

This holiday celebration is hosted by the Clearing Night Force neighborhood watch group.

Children will be invited to make their own ornaments at the event. There also will be visits with Santa Claus, caroling by members of the Hale Theatre Company, as well as hot cocoa and cookies.

Admission is free.

  • A holiday story time suitable for young children is set for 6 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place.

Those attending are invited to dress up in Christmas-themed garb. Bells will be available for all.

Space is limited, and reservations are required. All participants must wear masks. For details, call the library at (312) 747-5657 or send an email to [email protected]

  • Chef Dale and crew at Café 63, 6411 W. 63rd St., will host Santa Claus at a breakfast event set for Saturday, Dec. 11.

The Jolly Old Elf will pose for photos and give a modest gift to each child.

This is a popular event, held in four waves. Seatings will be at 8 and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Adults in attendance may order off the regular Café 63 menu; children’s plates are just $7.95 each.

Café 63 serves as a Toys For Tots collection point. So if you want to bring a new, unwrapped toy (no stuffed animals, please), please do.

If you want to attend this popular breakfast event, you must make reservations. Call 872-267-5101 to make yours.

  • Sunday, Dec. 12 is the final day to donate items to a charity drive run by the good folks at Hope Church Midway, 6059 S. Archer. Needed are new items for a women’s shelter, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bars of hand soap, skin lotion, toothpaste and tooth brushes. For details, email the church at [email protected]

Remember, if you want to share your good news in this column: birth announcement, birthday, marriage, wedding anniversary, I thoroughly enjoy sending out good wishes.

See you next week.

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