Barrington turns on the lights – and more – on Saturday

Come meet Santa at this Saturday's Festival of Lights. He arrives at 4 p.m. Come meet Santa at this Saturday's Festival of Lights. He arrives at 4 p.m.

Come meet Santa at this Saturday’s Festival of Lights. He arrives at 4 p.m.

The Barrington Recreation Department and the Barrington Business Association will host this year’s Festival of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 1, and promise a bigger event than year’s past.

The day kicks off at 1 p.m. when a trolley will start a continual loop around the downtown business district.

BBA co-president Holly Smith said the trolley — which will come equipped with elves — will pick-up riders at town hall. It will travel to Prince’s Hill Plaza, Maple Avenue, Waseca Avenue and the Barrington Shopping Center where shoppers can visit numerous local businesses.

Some stores may have sales while others, such as Ms. Smith’s shop Hollies on the Avenue, will be offering festive fare such as hot cocoa.

The Barrington Town Hall, meanwhile, will have a train of its own. The children’s attraction is being sponsored by the BAY Team and will be set up in the rear parking lot with rides for $1.

Government center will also be the site of several other attractions as day turns to evening.

Arts Alive! will perform a scene from Primrose Hill School’s upcoming production of “The Jungle Book” outside town hall at 4:45 p.m., while Ballet Prestige will perform a couple selections from “The Nutcracker” inside the Barrington Public Library auditorium at 4 and 4:30 p.m.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the recreation department will offer gingerbread cookie decorating and jingle bells for children. RE/MAX Real Estate will also be on hand with hot chocolate.

The night will culminate with the town’s annual tree lighting.

Santa Claus is expected to arrive by fire truck at 4 p.m., followed by performances of the high school choral ensemble and the middle school a capella group at 5. The tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s expanded over last year,” said leisure services director Michele Geremia. “This is a great opportunity for people to come out and help celebrate the peace and joy of the season.

“We want to draw a crowd. We want people driving down County Road to see there is something big going on in Barrington, that there’s a big community event. So we hope everyone will come out.”

7 Reasons to visit the Festival of Lights

Downtown Barrington promises to be an exciting place on Saturday, Dec. 1, when the annual Festival of Lights kicks off.

Event organizers said this year’s festival will offer more activities, entertainment and opportunities to stop by local stores for holiday shopping.

Following are the 7 top reasons to stop by the festival:

- Number 7: From 1 to 5 p.m. the Barrington Business Association trolley will pick-up riders at the town hall and carry them to shops at Prince’s Hill Plaza, Maple Avenue, Waseca Avenue and the Barrington Shopping Center. Elves will assist shoppers on the trolley and many stores in town will offer free refreshments.

- Number 6: The family fun kicks off at government center at 3 p.m. — Families can stop by the town hall and pick up jingle bells and decorate gingerbread cookies. There will also be $1 train rides for children.

- Number 5: “The Nutcracker,” as performed by Ballet Prestige will share some selections inside the Barrington Public Library auditorium, at 4 and 4:30.

- Number 4: Santa Claus will arrive at town hall on a fire truck at 4 p.m.

- Number 3: Arts Alive!, the non-profit student performance art organization, will present a scene from Primrose Hill School’s upcoming production of “The Jungle Book” outside town hall at 4:45 p.m.

- Number 2: The high school choral ensemble and the middle school a capella group will perform holiday favorites at 5 p.m.

- Number 1: Barrington marks the start of the holiday season with the annual tree-lighting of the large evergreen tree in front of the town hall. Officials flip the switch at 5:30. Come and join the celebration.

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