The Duneland community’s Hometown Holiday Celebration will begin right after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 23. Over the course of the following month, more than a dozen events will offer Duneland children and their families varied opportunities to celebrate the holidays with local businesses and non-profit organizations and, of course, with Santa Clause himself.
The Celebration begins the afternoon of Nov. 23 with free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Chesterton from 3-5pm. Rides will begin in the Duneland Chamber of Commerce parking lot (220 Broadway), and will be offered to the first 40 guests. Each ride will last approximately 10 minutes, and couples will be asked to share rides. Numbered slips will be given to those lining up beginning at 3pm. Freshly made kettlecorn, hot chocolate and gourmet hot dogs will be available for sale to those waiting for rides and the parade.
The Annual Twilight Christmas Parade will step off from Chesterton Middle School at 5:30pm, following the time-honored route along Broadway to Calumet Road and Porter Avenue. The Chesterton High School Pep Band and Chesterton Middle School cheerleaders will provide a holiday soundtrack and dance routine to accompany the more than 30 other parade entries, including historic fire trucks, martial arts performers, a walking nativity, holiday floats, marionette artists and more. Santa Clause will make a special appearance as the Grand Finale of the parade.
***Parents in the audience are asked to keep close watch on their young children, as drivers in the parade are unable to see in between vehicles in the dark.
Immediately following the parade, Duneland children and their families are encouraged to attend a free “Dave Herzog’s Marionettes” show at the Library Service Center (100 W. Indiana Avenue). Entitled “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland,” the show will feature not only Santa Clause, but also Frosty the Snowman, Termite the Singing Christmas Tree, Jake the Juggling Christmas Present, Jack in the Box, The Nutcracker on Skates, Jingles the Elf on the Flying Trapeze. Herzog, a full-time professional puppeteer specializing in the art of the marionette, performs 375 shows nationwide each year, in addition to creating his own hand-carved marionettes.
Santa Clause will be in his house on Broadway in Thomas Centennial Park from 6pm – 8:30pm. Duneland children are invited to share their Christmas wishes with Santa during those hours. Each child will be gifted with a coloring book and coupon from Applebee’s Bar and Grill, as well as a candy cane. Visitors are asked to bring canned vegetables to Santa for him to deliver to local families in need.
Santa Clause will be in his house in Thomas Centennial Park the following day (Saturday, November 24), from 10am - Noon, and again from 1pm – 3pm. Duneland children can also visit Santa every Saturday leading up to Christmas (Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22) from 10am – Noon and 1pm – 3pm.
The Hometown Holiday Celebration will also include a series of Progressive Open Houses hosted by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce. The first event will be held on Thursday, November 29, and open houses will continue every Thursday leading up to Christmas (Dec. 6, 13 and 20). From 4-7pm, shoppers will be able to enjoy $5 drink and appetizer specials at participating restaurants (including Lucrezia, Popolano’s, Sage and Uncle Joe’s Bar & Grill). Participating retailers will be offering extended holiday hours (open until 8pm) and holiday sales and specials. Shoppers are invited to visit the Duneland Chamber of Commerce at 220 Broadway on Thursday, November 29 between the hours of 4pm – 8pm for cookies, punch and maps to direct these holiday shopping and dining tours.
Chesterton’s European Market will be hosting its Annual Mistletoe Market on Saturday, December 1, from 9am – 3pm. The event, held at Westchester Intermediate School, will feature artisan and culinary gifts for all ages, holiday music, fresh food and sweets, fresh Christmas trees and greens, and photos with Santa for children.
For more information about the Duneland community’s Hometown Holiday Celebration, please contact the Duneland Chamber of Commerce at (219) 926-5513 or email@example.com.