Holiday lights festivities begin Nov. 27

The annual Holiday Tree Lighting will take place at Sinnissippi Gardens Sunday, Nov. 27, with festivities beginning at 5 p.m., near the Greenhouse, 1300 N. Second St., Rockford.

Enjoy music of the season during visits and photos with Santa until 5:30 p.m., when he lights the community tree.

Letters to the North Pole can be mailed at the “North Pole Express” mailbox just outside the Greenhouse.

Additional parking for the Holiday Tree Lighting event will be available in the Sinnissippi riverfront lot north of the Greenhouse (use the Symbol entrance to access), and the YMCA north lot. For information about accessibility for people with disabilities attending the Tree Lighting, call 987-1600 (voice/TTY).

Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m. is also opening night for the 17th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights, featuring illuminated displays created by local groups and businesses, placed throughout Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford. Displays will be lighted Wednesday-Sunday, 6-10 p.m., Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 31, plus all night Christmas Eve; admission fees are $1 per car, $5 per bus, except for Dec. 31, which is free night.

New at this year’s event, the Festival of Lights will host the following special activities at Sinnissippi Park:

Dec. 3—Special guest “Spongebob,” 6-8 p.m.;

Dec. 10—Various singing choirs;

Dec. 17—Special guest Santa Claus, 7-9 p.m.;

Dec. 24—Festival open all night; and

Dec. 31—Free admission.

(All festival events subject to change; visit for more information.)

From the Nov. 23-29, 2005, issue

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