Cold weather doesn’t lower spirits at Oswego Christmas Walk
By Linda Girardi For Sun-Times Media December 8, 2013 3:54PM
Families out to enjoy the annual Oswego Christmas Walk were not deterred by the cold or the Dr. Seuss Grinch character roaming around Main Street. "I kind of like the Grinch," 7 year old Justin Wolf said. | Linda Girardi ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2014 6:22AM
Arctic air rushed in, but so, too, did the holiday cheer.
“I grew up in Oswego, so we always come back for the holidays with our children,” Teresa Wolf said.
The 2013 edition of the Oswego Christmas Walk opened Friday with a “Home for the Holidays” theme, where children spun around on skates, carolers sang and a lighted fire engine parade brightened a cold but moonlit night.
On Main Street, hot cocoa, sweets treats and faux fur hats were in abundance to bring warmth to the night.
“This brings back memories of growing up in the downtown. Oswego still has a small town feeling,” said Wolf, now of Yorkville.
Families would not let the arrival of frigid weather or the Dr. Seuss Grinch character poking around spoil their holiday fun.
“I kind of like the Grinch,” 7-year old Justin Wolf said.
Families walked with young children and little ones in strollers wrapped in layers, while kids in puffy winter jackets boarded the mini Toyland train that zipped along Main Street.
While an ice sculptor’s finesse might have reminded onlookers of the 14-degree temperature, the non-stop motion of young skaters on a faux ice pond, actually made of a polymer synthetic platform, kept the young skaters warm.
“Our kids love the skating, we’ve been coming every year,” said Megan Doogs, of Oswego, who came with two children ages 5 and 3.
To feel the holiday spirit of giving, people stepped into the Old Fire Station to find their favorite charitable organization, including the annual Oswegoland Women’s Civic Club homemade cookie sale.
Club past president Judy Smith estimated members had baked more than 2,000 cookies to help benefit a variety of community projects.
“We have hosted the cookie sale for the past 10 years and see a lot of repeat customers,” Smith said.
Other crowds stepped into the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church to make a donation for the “Train of Hope” toy drive to benefit the Kendall County Food Pantry. Parish member Lorraine Beasley said three bins were full of toys.
“It’s not about the materialism, but an offering of hope to parents with young children,” Beasley said.
Marlene Neal, of Oswego, invited her two grandchildren from Naperville to the festivities.
“We’re having a sleepover at our grandmother’s house. I like the hot chocolate and I am just really glad there are campfires because it is cold,” said Cole, 9.
“I like that my birthday is close to Christmas,” said Noel, 5. “I am really warm and comfy.”
Girl Scout Troop 1430 sang “Jingle Bells” and other traditional holiday favorites for the crowds on Main Street.
“We’re getting them out for the Christmas spirit,” one mom said.
Newcomers to the community said the holiday festivities were a way for their children to build connections and memories in their community.
“The Christmas Walk is a family tradition,” said Beth Beaumont, who came with her husband Andrew and three young children, Addison, 15 months, Anna, 4, and Kevin, 6.
Patty and Michael Hiemer had their 6-month-old daughter, Aubrey, wrapped in a stroller for their first Christmas Walk together in Oswego.
“Our goal is to come every year, I am huge on Christmas,” Michael Hiemer said. “Everyone seems a little bit nicer during the holidays and we would hope it would be that way every day of the year. I asked my wife to marry me in December, which makes this time of the year that much more special.”