Celebrate the Holiday Season in Evanston
Community members and visitors can celebrate the holiday season in Evanston at special events and programs throughout the month of December.
Holiday Tree Lighting, December 7
Downtown Evanston will host its annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 7, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Fountain Square, located at Davis Street and Sherman Avenue. All are invited to join Mayor Stephen Hagerty, Santa and Mrs. Claus as they light the live holiday tree at 5:30 p.m. The event will feature hot chocolate courtesy of Colectivo Coffee as well as entertainment from Evanston Children's Choir, Northwestern Purple Haze, Chicago Tap Theatre, and The Actors Gymnasium. Afterward, families are invited to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and warm up with hot chocolate at The Crystal Ballroom & Lounge at The Merion, 529 Davis St. This free event is sponsored by Valli Produce, Industrious Evanston, Colectivo Coffee and The Merion. For more information, visit downtownevanston.org/holidays.
The Nutcracker on Ice, December 13-15
The 45th annual production of "The Nutcracker on Ice" returns December 13-15 at the Robert Crown Community Center, 1701 Main St. Performances are Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 14 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, December 15 at 2:30 p.m. General admission tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door for $9. Reserved seating tickets may be purchased for $10 in person only at the Robert Crown Community Center. Visit cityofevanston.org/nutcracker for more information.
The Nutcracker(ish), December 21-29
The Nutcracker meets The Wizard of Oz in this popular holiday show for all ages, which combines ballet, hip hop and modern dance with storytelling theatre and the Tchaikovsky score audiences know and love. This holiday play for the entire family invites audiences to join Clara, Toto, the Snow Woman and the Nutrcracker on a fun and mysterious journey. Tickets are available for $20 in advance online at cityofevanston.org/rectickets or $25 at the door. Performances take place at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., on Saturdays, December 21 and 28, at 7 p.m., and Sundays, December 22 and 29, at 3 p.m. Visit cityofevanston.org/fjtheatre for more information or call 847-866-5914.
Grand Chanukah Menorah Lighting and Celebration, December 23
Tannenbaum Chabad House invites residents to join Mayor Stephen Hagerty and Evanston's civic, business and Jewish communities for Evanston's public Chanukah Menorah Lighting and Celebration. The 10-foot Menorah will be lit in Fountain Square, located at Davis Street and Sherman Avenue, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 23.
Evanston Community Sharing, December 26 and 27
A free celebration of the first day of Kwanzaa led by Dr. Gilo Kwesi Cornell Logan and SOUL Creations will be held on Thursday, December 26, 6 p.m., at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St. There will be family arts and crafts, delicious Caribbean food for purchase, an interactive African drumming circle, dancing, the traditional lighting of the Kinara, and oral presentation of the Seven Principals of Kwanzaa.
Then, on Friday, December 27 at 5:30 p.m., all community members are invited to celebrate Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, at Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 Dempster St. A dynamic and moving ceremony will be led by Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler, including the lighting of the Menorah. Plenty of great home-cooked traditional Jewish dishes and beverages will be available for purchase.
For more information about these and other holiday events, visit cityofevanston.org/events or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.
Photo by Genie Lemieux