As people everywhere make plans to spend their holidays with family, the Highwood Chamber of Commerce is recognizing the servicemen and women stationed in nearby Naval Station Great Lakes and Fort Sheridan Reserve with a celebration to make them feel at home in Highwood for the Holidays. The Highwood community will embrace over 300 military personnel at the fifth annual Highwood for the Holidays, taking place on Dec. 8 from 3-6pm throughout Downtown Highwood.
The City will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland complete with lit ice luminaries lining the streets, local businesses welcoming the Military with specials, food, drinks, fresh roasted chestnuts, live music, a special address to the military from local dignitaries at 5pm, followed by the soldiers marching in cadence through the luminary lit streets. New for 2013, the Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood will be supplying an interactive photo booth that will allow soldiers to take photos with Santa and immediately share them with family and friends around the country and fellow soldiers around the world. Also, K9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore will be bringing a “troop” of dogs over to the event to pose for photos, or to simply spend time with a soldier who may be missing the companionship of their own animal.
“We are encouraging all members of Highwood and our surrounding communities to come out and show their appreciation to the military men and women who stand in uniform to protect and defend the liberties, and the way of life, we so dearly cherish,” states Mayor Pecaro. “We are inviting everyone to show their support and holiday spirit by creating ice luminaries to line the streets to honor our soldiers when they visit Highwood and march in cadence through our streets.” Ice luminaries are simple to create with household items and can be dropped off at City Hall anytime after 2pm on Dec. 8. Please see DIY example of ice luminaries in which anyone can make: http://www.designmom.com/2013/
Local dignitaries will address the Military personnel at the honorary ceremony at 5pm at Buffo’s (431 Sheridan Rd). The troops will then march in cadence at 5:30 pm along the lighted frozen luminary path to Oak Terrace Elementary School (240 Prairie Avenue), where an exclusive dinner, supplied by Wildfire, Highland Park Hospital, Pastificio, The Bent Fork and Buffo’s, will be held at 6pm. The evening will end with a special Military release of sky lanterns (weather permitting).
“As the new principal of Oak Terrace Elementary School, I am honored to be a part of this great tradition of hosting our local heroes for the holidays,” says Jim Kallieris, Principal at Oak Terrace Elementary School. “The Oak Terrace community is grateful for the sacrifices that our service men and women have made to make our country what it is today.”
There is no cost to attend, however, Highwood is asking local residents and businesses to sponsor Highwood for the Holiday gift certificates that will be given to the military. These gift certificates can be used at local businesses throughout the day to help in purchasing gifts for their friends and family, to enjoy a meal in Highwood, or to utilize any other of the many services Highwood businesses offer.
Gift certificates may be purchased beforehand in $10 increments at businesses throughout town, such as The Toadstool Pub, The Bent Fork Bakery, Jordan Joseph Encore, Consignments ETC, Jen Z’s, or by sending a check made out to the Highwood Chamber of Commerce to PO Box 305, Highwood, IL 60040, or the day of the event. Sponsor a Soldier forms can be downloaded at http://www.celebratehighwood.
For more information on all of Highwood’s festivals, please visit www.CelebrateHighwood.com, or call 847-432-6000.by