CHANNAHON — Although nary a snowflake fell from the sky, and temperatures were more like spring than winter, it didn’t stop Santa Claus from making his way to Channahon Saturday afternoon.
Santa and the misses arrived at the village hall in a fire engine courtesy of the Channahon Fire Protection District, but not before they rode through neighborhoods with sirens blaring and lights flashing to announce their visit.
Outside the municipal building, adults and kids stood in line to ride on the carriage, pulled by a white horse with bells jingling from his neck and a driver looking snappy in his tuxedo.
Minooka Community High School Junior Varsity Madrigal singers caroled while they waited. Despite the 60-degree temperatures, homemade cookies and hot chocolate were still going like hot cakes inside.
The village board room was filled with guests as the Channahon Junior High band students played more holiday music.
Children, with parents in tow, waited patiently for their turn to tell Santa their hearts’ desires.
At the top of this years’ Christmas wish lists were Barbie dolls, American Girl dolls and colored duct tape. For the boys, it was Lego blocks and Batman stuff. And practically everyone was hoping for a new iPhone or iPad.
Six-year-old James Barker asked Santa for Batman Legos and maybe a Wii game or two. But when the Wii U game system was mentioned, his little face lit up like a Christmas tree.
“Yes, yes,” he said, excitedly pumping his fist.
James, his mom, Alison Barker, and sister Sadie had visited with Santa earlier that day at the Minooka Fire Department’s pancake breakfast. James was in line this time to remind Santa about his wish list.
“We have hit all the events today,” said Alison Barker.
Josh Lazzari, 5, asked Santa for just one thing, a “Launch and Attack Batman,” he said.
Little Miss Channahon Anna McClimon and her court – Addison Otto, Sadie Barker and Destiny Clower – were also in line to speak with Santa while they waited for their special duty of overseeing the lighting of the village Christmas tree.
The Three Rivers Library District had several activities for the kids, including decorating (and eating) their own Christmas cookies, coloring mini coloring books, and making paper ornaments for their own trees.
This is the second year in which the library district has worked with the village to organize the annual tree lighting event, said Three Rivers Executive Director Mary Soucie.
“We are really happy to partner with (the village) again,” Soucie said. “I think it’s going very well.”
Youth Services Librarian Lisa Berger read holiday stories to groups of kids, while everyone patiently waited for night to fall and the highlight of the evening to get under way.
When it was finally dark enough, the crowd gathered in the round-about in front of the village hall.
Anna McClimon got to perform one of the much-anticipated duties as Little Miss Channahon.
Channahon Village President Joe Cook counted down from three, Anna flipped the switch, and the village Christmas tree lit up the night sky.
With a Christmas carol led by the Madrigals, families, friends and featured guests rang in the holiday season together.