On Sunday, December 3rd, the Darien Historical Society held its Annual Darien Tree Lighting Ceremony. As is so typical of our volunteer community, and so uniquely Darien, the Historical Society received assistance from the City of Darien as well as the Darien Lions, Woman’s Club, Garden Club, Indian Prairie Library, VFW 2838, the Darien Woodridge Fire Department and the Darien Community Bank This tree lighting kicks off the holiday season in Darien, and while it is not as elaborate as one you might see in other communities, it is rich in historical tradition.
This year, residents attending the event met Santa as he arrived via the Darien Woodridge Fire Department, and children had an opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while receiving a goodie bag supplied by the staff of the Darien Community Bank. If visitors were hungry, the Darien Lions gave away grilled hot dogs and bags of potato chips, while the Woman’s Club kept you warm with cups of hot chocolate. Our young Darien residents had a chance to visit with a face painter, while mom and dad were able to learn some fun gardening facts from our Darien Garden Club. The Darien Historical Museum is a great place to learn more about Darien’s unique history, and Dean Rodkin, President of the DHS entertained a number of residents who sought to learn more about our city, while upstairs in the museum classroom, children were entertained by a member of the Indian Prairie Library who conducted a holiday storytime.
While the afternoon was filled with all of these activities, our crowd grew as we prepared to light our Darien Christmas Tree. Prior to the actual lighting of the tree, we were entertained by the Lakeview Junior High Choir under the direction of Jennifer Rickert, and their selections added to the festive nature of the event. Finally, we conducted a group countdown, and our tree lights, signifying the start of our holiday season were turned on, meeting with applause from the crowd.
Our wonderful afternoon of events came to a conclusion with our tree lighting, and as I looked out and pictured the crowd, I thought that the only thing that would have created more of a Norman Rockwell setting is if we saw a light snow as we flipped the switch. As the day’s activities came to a close, I was reminded of the song we sing each year prior to lighting the tree; and in my mind I envisioned the crowd singing, “Its Christmas time in Darien, in Darien Illinois, there will be lots of fun in Darien for every girl and boy.” Have a happy holiday season!