I love the Holidays….don’t you! And after stuffing ourselves at the feast that is Thanksgiving it’s time to think about Christmas and what better time to do that is to take a short trip to a wonderful small town middle America old fashion day of holiday cheer ending in a lights parade….I can think of nowhere else that exemplifies that feeling than Blue Island, Illinois.
This town, established in 1835, is a hop, skip and jump from downtown Chicago and it’s claim to fame (actually it has many claims to fame…I’ll save more for a future post!) was back in the 1850’s when it became the brick making capital of the world and in 1883 when it became the hub of the car shops of The Rock Island Railroad. It prospered with the growth of the railroads as did other small towns such as Michigan City and LaPorte, Indiana (I’ll save the railroad story for yet another post!) Blue Island has such a variety of homes from vintage Victorian to bungalows to Mid-Century Modern that it is worth your while when you visit to drive around town…it’s extraordinary!
The events are all FREE (except when you find a treasure at The Kringle Mart!). This is made possible by year round fund raisers. This year only needed one to raise the necessary funds, the reopening of the beloved The Lyric Theater. The long awaited totally renovated building can hold up to 400 for special events as well as screens for movies.
Now back to the purpose of this post…Christmas in Blue Island! On Saturday, December 3rd a day filled with so many activities you will need to take a break at one of the many pubs and local restaurants before the evening’s Light Parade. A truly traditional day of family fun in small town America.
Forget about New York’s Macy’s Parade…give me a local heartfelt parade anytime of the year! Let’s look at some highlights from last year’s event…
All photos provided by my BFF’s Tom Hawley and Tom Mantel.