Downtown Evanston invites community members to celebrate the season at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s celebration will take place in Church Street Plaza, located at Church Street and Maple Avenue, due to construction in Fountain Square.

Festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. with a performance by the Evanston Children’s Choir. Then, at 5:30 p.m., join Mayor Stephen Hagerty as he flips the switch and lights the holiday tree. A performance by Evanston Own It will follow. Families can also enjoy hot chocolate, carolers, and a special sing-along surprise.

Before the Tree Lighting, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., children can write letters to Santa and enjoy a cookie at Lumen Optical, 809 Church St. After the Tree Lighting, community members can visit and take photos with Santa at The Crystal Ballroom & Lounge, 529 Davis St., and Mrs. Claus at the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/Evanston, 1818 Maple Ave.

Although this year’s celebration will take place in Church Street Plaza, a permanent tree has been planted in Fountain Square’s south plaza for future celebrations.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...