38th annual Rockton Christmas Walk introduces new events, keeps traditions alive


Sugar Britches drove a lighted Volkswagen in the parade.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rockton, Illinois, as decorations are being placed in parks and around the community in preparation for the 38th annual Rockton Christmas Walk.

Three days of Christmas cheer and action are planned for Dec. 2, 3 and 4. The Gem Shop & Diamond Source is this year's Grand Marshall sponsor.

This year, the entire community is invited to create a lighted Christmas display in Settlers Park. This is the perfect time for residents, businesses, groups or organizations to show your imaginative side by joining in this part of the festivities. Friday evening, Dec. 2 is when the displays will be open to public viewing beginning at 6 p.m. upon the lighting of displays which will be up through the end of December. To reserve your space, fill out the form [PDF] by Nov. 22. View the 2021 displays.

Friday evening, Felix & Fingers Dueling Piano is returning to the American Center (American Legion). Doors open at 7 p.m. to this holiday themed and Christmas carol-filled show which is already sold out. Proceeds of this event will go toward the purchase of a large-scale Christmas tree for downtown Rockton.

In its fifth year at the Christmas Walk, the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl is a chance to catch up with friends as you visit local establishments on Friday night. Start at any of the seven participating locations to pick up a stamp card. Have the card stamped at each location you go to. Leave your card at your last stop in an attempt to win nice prizes.

Start Saturday morning out with a visit from Santa as the Rockton Lions Club welcomes him to breakfast from 7- 11 a.m.  Come to the American Legion to enjoy pancakes, side dishes and beverages, all for just $5.

Find the best types of books for yourself or a loved one at the Friends of Talcott Library Book Sale on Friday from 9 until 5:30, and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3.

Little ones can tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas by writing a letter to him at Financial Advisor Brenda Bruegger's office from 12-4 on Saturday.

Young and young at heart can visit Santa at the Settlers Park Gazebo from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Capture memories by having a photo taken with the jolliest elf of all.

While in Settler's Park, hear sounds of the season being brought to life by the talented voices of the Rockford Barbershop Chorus - from 3-5 p.m.

Rockton United Methodist Church is having a craft and a bake sale. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley is hosting a “gently used” holiday decor sale and world famous bake sale. Rockton Township Historical Society will have treasures to find at the Santa's Attic sale which will be open on Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and the prior weekend on Nov. 18 and 19.

Jill Rae Finally Art invites creative-minded people to take part in designing a nutcracker. Make and take your piece home after completion.

Every year the tradition of Katie Cronin is remembered for her many years of leadership in decorating the Village Green Park with the "Our Town Committee." A touching tribute and dedication and the lighting of the Village Green Park will be held at 5 p.m. On Saturday.

As always the Lighted Christmas Parade promises the best of the season's color, splendor and magic. Sign up by Nov. 29 to create part of the magic, or come as a spectator to watch the parade roll down Main Street starting at 6 p.m.

Following the parade is the Wimpy's Fund Auction which is being held at the Rockton American Legion. Support this mission as the Rockton Lions Club gives back to area families in need with Christmas presents, clothing, and food.

During the live auction, Tony Rocker: Christmas Elvis and the full band will be playing sounds of the season.  The live auction closes at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

All weekend long, look for unique gift items when visiting local stores, or take a break at any number of food or beverage stops.

Take in the sights of the season on a horse drawn wagon ride on Hawick Street at Settlers Park.

Sunday action begins with the making of “Christmas Pals” at Jill Rae Finally Art. Transform a bulb into your favorite animal. Reserve your spot for one of these times: noon, 1, 2 or 3 pm. Walk-ins are welcome if spots are available.

Hot cocoa lovers are in for a real treat as the Hot Cocoa Crawl returns on Sunday, Dec. 4. You get a keepsake mug, complete with a mini spoon for $12 when you buy tickets on the events page. Try different flavors from 1-3:30 pm. and vote for your favorite.

More Christmas tunes will ring out thanks to the talented vocals of the River City Sound Chorus Sweet Adelines in the Village Hall (Municipal Center.) This will happen during the times of the Cocoa Crawl but concludes at 3 p.m.

Rounding out this year's event is the Historic Homes for the Holidays Tour. Look inside of three different homes owned by the Weiser, Meichtry and Wagner families from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday evening - each decked out for the season. Booties will be given out at each location to protect the floors, along with refreshments. 

You can purchase tickets for $20 at DeeDee's Main Street or online at Eventbrite. Kids under 12 are free with adult ticket holders.  All proceeds of the home tour go towards decorating downtown Rockton for future holidays.

A full schedule of events and costs for specific activities can be found at rocktonchristmaswalk.com, along with a full list of event sponsors.

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