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  • Kent Casson

A festive start to the season

Santa and his elf visit the downtown Chenoa gazebo Saturday night.

The Christmas spirit was alive and well throughout Chenoa Saturday evening.

An inaugural light-up parade was considered a success featuring various entries led off by a number of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. Participants lined up on Lincoln Street near the OSF Medical Group office before stepping off at 5:30 p.m. The route headed west on Lincoln to Green Street where it traveled north, ending at the downtown pavilion for the annual gazebo lighting and Santa visit.

“This year has been horrible so anything we can do to bring some joy is worth it,” said Sally Decker, who helped decorate the gazebo with her husband and others. “It’s just great community involvement – I love it.”

The evening reminded local residents Susie and Dan Boian of the days when HC Accents held holiday events downtown drawing big crowds.

“This is as big of a crowd as I’ve seen since then really,” observed Dan.

Chenoan Dwayne Price said the night was the perfect example of the town coming together and being proud of what it has.

“We’ve just got a good support system with the Shop ‘n Go crew that decided to do a little parade and then a few other people helped out with decorating the gazebo.”

Chenoa’s VFW served-up hot chocolate during the holiday festivities which saw children and their parents waiting to see the big man in the red suit along with his elf. Several children posed for photos on Santa’s lap.

Here are some photos of Saturday evening's light-up parade entries:

Our thanks to The Butler's Pantry in downtown Chenoa for sponsoring our coverage of the Saturday events in Chenoa! They offer homemade freezer entrees, sides, desserts and baked goods for the oven, slow cooker, grill or stovetop. Items are available in both family size and serves two. They also offer on and off-site catering. Current store hours are Fridays 3:30-5:30. Enjoy in-store shopping or curbside service. Check their website for the most current inventory.

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