The Clearing Night Force’s tree lighting event is an annual favorite with young and old, as this photo from 2019 illustrates. --File photo

The Clearing Night Force’s tree lighting event is an annual favorite with young and old, as this photo from 2019 illustrates. --File photo

Holiday cheer continues at Hale Park

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

I hope your Christmas season is off to a warm and memorable start.

Thanks to the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, the Midway Chamber of Commerce and everyone responsible for making the annual Christmas tree lighting in Wentworth Park and the annual Snack With Santa a success last Saturday. Many, if not most, neighborhoods in the city don’t have anything quite like those two events.

If you missed the tree lighting last weekend, please know you are welcome to attend a tree lighting scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St.

Sponsored by the Clearing Night Force, this event is not the big, outdoor extravaganza seen at Wentworth Park, but it has just as much Christmas cheer.

Everything occurs inside the fieldhouse, so you won’t be at the mercy of the elements.

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The Clearing Night Force’s tree lighting event is an annual favorite with young and old, as this photo from 2019 illustrates. –File photo

You’ll enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as you are invited to sing along with carolers from the Hale Park Theatre Company.

Children will enjoy an ornament-making activity, as well as a visit with Santa Claus himself.

This is all at no charge, although I would imagine that the non-profit Clearing Night Force would turn away any kind of a donation to might want to make. For details, send an email to clearingnightforce812@gmail.com.

Mark your calendar

  • If you missed the Midway Chamber of Commerce’s Snack With Santa, please know you are welcome to have breakfast with Santa at the Rhine VFW Post 2729, 5858 S. Archer, from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 11.

Enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, cake, cookies, juice and coffee.

Admission is $11 for adults, as well as children ages 9-17; $5 for children ages 3-8; and no charge for kids younger than 3.

Santa will be on hand, and all children will receive a modest gift. There will also be raffles. For details, call the post at (773) 284-9025.

  • For Christians in general, Advent season has started. For Catholics in particular, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Thursday, Dec. 8. That’s followed by the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monday, Dec. 12. She originally was Patroness of Mexico but was declared Patroness of all the Americas by then-Pope John Paul II. May these special days, as well as the Advent season in general, be especially meaningful for all believers.
  • A Christmas festival is set for 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 in the basement of St. Blase Church, 6101 S. 75th Ave., Summit. Enjoy food, refreshments, Christmas music, a piñata for children and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the CCD program of Blessed Martyrs of Chimbote Parish. Not sure what the admission fee is. For details, call the BMC office at (708) 458-0007. The parish includes the westernmost section of Garfield Ridge.
  • Speaking of BMC, the parish’s Ladies of the Rosary are hosting a Christmas party from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 at European Chalet, 5445 S. Harlem. Tickets are $35 each and include dinner and entertainment. There will be a cash bar. There will be a raffle of holiday baskets. Not sure if tickets are available, but call (708) 458-0501 for details.
  • Santa Claus will climb aboard Jim Sircher’s vintage fire truck and ride through the streets of Garfield Ridge (west of Central) from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, courtesy of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch. The Jolly Old Elf will do the same in Clearing (west of Central) from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. So keep your eyes and ears open, everyone, and thank you, Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch!
  • Children under age 7 are invited to a Christmas themed event scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12 at Valley Forge Park, 7001 W. 59th St. The session will include holiday crafts, games, cookies and hot cocoa, arm painting and a photo opportunity with Santa Claus. Fee is $10 per child. For details, call (773) 229-0812.

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