Holiday Tree Lighting Nov. 27 outside Nicholas Conservatory kicks off Festival of Lights

Online Staff Report

Rockford Park District welcomes family and friends to a free event filled with all the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. The annual Holiday Tree Lighting will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 27, with the official tree-lighting happening at 5:30 p.m. The Holiday Tree Lighting is back to its original location, which is outside of the brand-new Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford.

Following is the schedule of events:

4-5 p.m. — Free and festive games, along with free photos with Santa and his friends.

4:15-5 p.m. — Holiday music by “Jeanie B”

5:30 p.m. — Santa and his friends light the holiday tree

6 p.m. — Festival of Lights at Sinnissippi Park begins

6-8 p.m. — Santa and his reindeer at Festival of Lights

Treats and beverages will be available for purchase, with proceeds to benefit the Friends of Lockwood Park volunteer efforts. Event parking will be available in Sinnissippi Park.

For more information on the Rockford Park District community tree lighting, including accessibility for people with disabilities attending the event, call (815) 987-8800 or visit

Bring a letter for Santa that night (include your return address for Santa’s reply) to the “Photos with Santa” station. After 5 p.m., letters to Santa can be dropped off at the “North Pole Express” mailbox at the Festival of Lights through Dec. 16 (include a return address for Santa’s reply).

Following the official tree lighting, the 22nd annual Holiday Festival of Lights will open at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 27. The holiday light displays are created by local groups and businesses; the display hours are 5-10 p.m., Thursdays-Sundays, Nov. 27-Dec. 11. From Dec. 15, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012, Festival of Lights is open seven days a week from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Dec. 24, the festival will be open all night. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Vote online for the best display at

For more about Festival of Lights, visit or call Project First Rate at (815) 965-0768.

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