Above / Naper Settlement was a scurry of activity with enthusiastic volunteers on Nov. 12, setting the scene for Naper Lights to be a colorful bright spot along Aurora Avenue, especially for vehicles stopped at the traffic light on Eagle Street.
PHOTO GALLERY / Lights On! Nov. 25, 2016 / Hours for strolls are 5-9PM through Dec. 23.Posted Nov. 12, 2016 / Even before the Noon Lions Club sets up the starting line for its annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day, folks almost have finished decorating for the holiday season in the heart of Naperville. The Santa House has been assembled along the Riverwalk, the Dandelion Fountain has been shut off to make way for the tall holiday evergreen and white lights are glistening in the treetops throughout downtown Naperville.
And just across Aurora Avenue, numerous white tents began popping up this week at Naper Settlement, giving folks reasons to wonder what’s happening on the spacious grounds of the 19th century village.
For starters, Naper Lights, hosted by the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise, is returning to Naper Settlement. Members of Sunrise Rotary aim to make the holiday season even brighter than last year throughout the 12-acre village where costumed interpreters are dedicated to telling stories of the city’s early development, just steps from vibrant downtown Naperville.
With the added attraction of Christkindlmarket, the open-air event promises to showcase festive German traditions in the spirit of a bustling European village.
PHOTO GALLERY / Volunteers create 2016 Naper Lights at Naper Settlement.Above / Rotarians and crews of volunteers by the dozens began staging the light displays for opening night on Fri., Nov. 25, over Thanksgiving weekend.
Early on Nov. 12, many high school student volunteers joined Rotarians to check and string lights around trees and to help with set up where needed. Cherry pickers lifted some professional volunteers high into the trees to hang stars.
“We’re excited to be partnering on the grounds of Naper Settlement with Christkindlmarket,” said Sunrise Rotarian Mary Ann Junkroski, serving in the leadership role of this year’s Naper Lights. “It’s a perfect marriage of the festive light display creating a beautiful atmosphere and the holiday market drawing people from throughout the region to enjoy all that downtown Naperville has to offer.”
A special gift to the community Nov. 25 to Dec. 24
The light display, a gift to the community from Naperville Sunrise Rotary, will feature a growing collection of giant lighted holiday figures, as well as decorated light poles, lighted candy canes and trees within the grounds of the museum village, noted Deb Newman in the press release.
“Like the Grinch’s heart, the Giant Holiday Tree will grow another 8 feet taller to 30 feet this year,” she said.
Also returning this year is a holiday light display set to music.
The 4th annual Naper Lights will be illuminated Nov. 25-December 24, with hours from 5-9PM on Thursday through Saturday and 5-7PM on Sunday. Special Christmas Week hours are 5-9PM December 19 through Christmas Eve.
Christkindlmarket at Naper Settlement
In addition to Naperlights, Naper Settlement will host Christkindlmarket, a traditional European open-air holiday market featuring ornaments, gifts and décor, food, music and traditional mulled wine.
Naper Settlement tours and Santa visits, too
Naper Settlement will offer tours of the decorated Victorian Mitchell Mansion and exhibit of holiday ornaments from around the world. Visit napersettlement.org for more details.
Admission to Christkindlmarket and NaperLights is free. Parking is available in three municipal lots in downtown Naperville as well as after hours at the Municipal Center parking lot.
Rotary Sunrise Naper Lights
Free-will donations to support Naperville Sunrise Rotary projects are welcomed.
Water Street District and Ryan Hill Realty are the Presenting Sponsors of Naper Lights for the fourth season. Naper Lights is produced, in part, by a City of Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities Grant.
“Sunrise Rotary hopes to bring a celebration that will become a new Naperville tradition for many years to come,” added Junkroski.
For more information about Naper Lights 2016, visit www.naperlights.com.