It's beginning to look a lot like...Well, what do you think? Thanksgiving has passed and now it's on to the December festivities. And Chesterton got into the spirit on Small Business Saturday with the annual Hometown Holiday Celebration. The Celebration is a town-wide affair. Local shops and restaurants took part in the Progressive Open House coordinated by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, there was the annual Twilight Parade, a tree lighting ceremony, and more.
Things began at 2pm with free horse drawn carriage rides provided by Buggies and Things. The rides were given a special touch by the holiday music that played throughout the downtown area. Following this, shopping and dining tours featuring food and drink specials, sales and other extras took place in the local shops and restaurants in Chesterton.
"We do this every year and this year we wanted to partner it with Small Business Saturday," Maura Durham, Executive Director for the Duneland Chamber of Commerce said. "We thought it would be a great way to bring more people into Chesterton so that they can see what wonderful businesses we have here and to keep the dollars in Duneland. And we wanted this to be for the families. The holidays are all about families and being together."
A tree lighting ceremony came next. This is the inaugural tree lighting event and what made it even more special is that it was conducted by a certain someone with an idea on her mind. An essay contest was held by the Duneland Chamber, and participants had to write about what the holidays meant to them. The winner received a $50 gift card, the opportunity to conduct the first annual tree lighting ceremony, and they were the grand marshals in the Twilight Christmas Parade.
This was a special day for Brummitt Elementary fourth grader Adeline Janowski. She was the winner of the contest. Her essay, along with the Bailly Elementary kindergarten students (runners up) essay, was read to a huge crowd and then the tree was lit by Adeline. The crowd cheered and the Chesterton Sandpipers sang holiday songs to continue the night's merriment.
The parade was a sparkling spectacular with float after float of holiday cheer. Santa was there along with his trusty reindeer, Rudolph, and some familiar Disney characters from a very popular, and wintery, movie. Here's a hint: Do you want to build a snowman?
Of the many groups participating in the parade, Arnell Chevy-Kia is a repeat celebrator.
"It's something we've been doing for years," Paul Pumroy, Commercial Fleet Manager for Arnell Chevy-Kia said. "We just feel that since we are a part of the community that we should be engaged in it. And I think it brings people together."
After the parade shops remained open for the visitors shopping pleasure, and Santa stuck around to spend some quality time with the kids. If you missed Santa he will be in Downtown Chesterton every Saturday in December from 10am-12pm and then 1pm-3pm.
Sponsors: Addison Pointe Health & Rehabilitation, Anton Insurance, Applebee's, At Home Quality Care, Chesterton Lions Club, Doler Services Heating and Cooling, Smiles by Arnold & Associates, Duneland Resale, Family Express, Franciscan Omni Health & Fitness, Good to Go by Lucrezia, Harris, Welsh & Lukmann, Hogan Consulting Group, In Good Company Residential Property Management, Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, Kent Heating and Air Conditioning, Kittredge & Zehner, P.C., Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute, Lucrezia, McDonald's Molly Bea's, Porter Health Care System, Air Products, Riley's Railhouse, Strack & Van Til, Subway, Teachers Credit Union, Tonn and Blank Construction, Traditions The Village in Burns Harbor, VFW Post 2511, Wagner's Winey Insurance Agency, Epic Limo, Inc., Rotary Chesterton-Porter Club