A couple of weekends ago my family was invited to visit the Stroll on the State – an event that gathers the crowds for the fifth year in a row. Living in the suburbs of Chicago we don’t usually go to the Chicago parades, but a similar event in a smaller town seemed like a fun weekend idea the whole family would enjoy.
I love the street closures during significant events (and I am not joking)! Maybe not as a driver as I have to navigate around the blocked streets trying to find decent parking. However, as a mother of three rumbustious kids, I love the freedom of roaming trafficless streets. Unusually warm November made this event more fun!
As someone who knew very little about the Stroll on the State, I didn’t know what to do next – catch a ride in the carriage? Check out the local food corner? Find the next festive activity and figure out how to get there? This might not sound like an easy task but imagine a festivity stretched over 25 city blocks with multiple things happenings at the same time – The Nutcracker, James & The Giant Peach, Christian Youth Theater Carolers, Indoor ice skating or Santaland walks – I only wish I had planned this better. I was lost wanting to see everything yet not being able to get places fast enough.
Hurry! You will miss the parade! I heard that, and the kids started bouncing in place – We want to see the show! We want to to see the ceremony. And wasn’t hard to figure out where the parade was taking place – everyone seemed to be moving int he same direction. We followed and got close enough to see this…
You would love the Randy Finch Ice Brigades live ice sculpting! Surrounded by crowds these magicians put together a show from carving a fantastic show scaulfing the ice and turning a block of ice into a reindeer.
As the streets got darker the new event was about to kick off, and we followed the crowds to the intersection right next to the stage – it was the official Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, and kids didn’t want to miss that.
3…2…1 – I felt like a little girl pointing the camera phone at the Christmas tree and impatiently waiting for the lights to come up. It just felt like a countdown to something ridiculously awesome. Surrounded by the people looking up 3…2…1!
How exhausted and excited does my family look? Even the little guy wasn’t ready to go home – with the fireworks, festive Christmas tree, and joyful crowds!
Are you looking for something fun to do next November?