Brookfield has had a busy year, so what better reason does the village need to unite village officials, business owners and residents for hometown pride and holiday merriment?
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the village of Brookfield and Brookfield Chamber of Commerce are once again partnering to usher in the holiday spirit with the annual Brookfield Holiday Celebration — an afternoon filled with festive family activities from 2 to 6 p.m. up and down the Grand Boulevard and Broadway Avenue business districts and at the Brookfield Village Hall.
From live music performances from local musicians of all ages to refreshments, art projects and character meet and greets, as always, the Holiday Celebration will be chockfull of lively activities for guests young and old to enjoy.
Now preparing to celebrate her second Holiday Celebration in town, Recreation Director Stevie Ferrari says the event is one which she has looked forward to planning.
"I'm most looking forward to seeing our community out in the masses, seeing familiar faces and new faces," she said. "We always see new faces at these larger community events, and it's really wonderful to see everyone all come together."
From 2 to 5:30 p.m., food and beverages will be in abundance throughout the event. Refreshments and open houses along the Grand Boulevard business district include hot cider and holiday cookies at Emerald Bay Jewelry, 3738 Grand Blvd.; sugar cookies and decorating for kids at Gosia's Coffee Shop, 8836 Brookfield Ave.; and candy canes and hot chocolate at Zoo City Treats, 3748 Grand Blvd.
Have some holiday fun while visiting and taking photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Irish Times Pub & Restaurant, 8869 Burlington Ave.; seeing the old-fashioned model train exhibit at Locha Mocha Cafe, 8858 Burlington Ave.; catching live woodcarving demonstrations at historic Grossdale Station, 8820½ Brookfield Ave.; and participating in a variety of drop-in crafts at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.
While you're in downtown Brookfield, don't forget to stop by the Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., where from 2 to 5:30 p.m., the whole family can take a keepsake photo with the giant inflatable snow globe, decorate cookies, participate in holiday crafts (including stringing lights on mini houses and felt tree ornament making) and enter for a chance to win holiday plush toys.
Head north for continued fun along the Broadway business district, where visitors can find cookies and hot drinks at Laura Atwood Studio Beads & Trading Co., 9142 Broadway Ave.; hot chocolate with the boys and girls of Boy Scout Troop 90 at Community Gardens at Eight Corners; refreshments and a free beauty consultation at Lorena's Hair Salon, 9144 Broadway Ave.; and refreshments, cookies and conversation with friendly snowman Olaf from Disney's "Frozen" at Betty's Flowers & Gifts, 9138 Broadway Ave.
After grabbing a quick snack, check out funky balloon art from annual favorite Tommy Twister at Tischler Finer Foods, 9118 Broadway Ave.; stop in and create your own holiday art projects at Compassion Factory Art Gallery & Studio, 9120 Broadway Ave., and make some furry friends at the petting zoo at Eight Corners.
If kicking back and listening to holiday carols is more your taste, then you're in luck. Odd Fellows Lodge #630, 9234 Broadway Ave., will feature the cheery canticle sounds of the International Christian Fellowship Choir (2:30 p.m.), the S.E. Gross Middle School Ukulele Club (3 p.m.), and the Lincoln Elementary School Chorus (3:30 p.m.)
Additional holiday entertainment can be found at Brookfield Village Hall by the S.E. Gross Middle School Band (2 p.m.) and Choir (2:30 p.m.); and Park Junior High School's Prelude Ensemble Chorus (3 p.m.)
Finally, the celebration will culminate with the annual tree lighting ceremony at the Veteran's Memorial Circle at Eight Corners. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their grand parade to the tree from Irish Times atop a village fire truck, joining Christmas carolers led by Clara D'Onofrio of Miss Clara's Mini Musicians.
While waiting for the tree lighting, enjoy the gingerbread village on display at the Veterans Memorial Circle. Hospitality tents will serve refreshments from 5 to 6 p.m. to keep guests warm and holiday basket raffle drawings for adults will continue through 5:30 p.m., when Santa will lead a community countdown and flip the switch to turn on the 2019 Christmas tree.
And, as in years past, courtesy trolleys will be on hand to shuttle visitors across town, with pick-up and drop-off locations scattered along Grand Boulevard, Eight Corners/Broadway Avenue, the Brookfield Public Library and Brookfield Village Hall.
Jessica Tamburello, chairwoman for the Chamber of Commerce's Holiday Committee, says overall, she hopes families both from Brookfield and the surrounding neighborhoods come and join in on the celebration.
"I've always enjoyed going with my family, walking up and down Grand Boulevard and seeing the tree lighting — it's become a tradition," she said. "It's always great to see what the sponsors come up with when decorating. It's an all-around fun event."