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Christmas season arrives in downtown Elgin

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    Julia Rabb from Girl Scout Troup 1686 hands a candy cane to Luke Parker during the Hot Cocoa Stroll.
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    The McDade Watermelon Festival float was one of many local floats and vehicles in the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Here, the Watermelon Court, consisting of (from left to right) Tiny Tot Queen Kari Cole, Junior Queen Kelsey Dube and Queen Yesenia Palacios, wave to the crowd.
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    St. Peter’s Lutheran Church performed a live nativity in Veterans’ Memorial Park after the parade. Here, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary.
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    The Purple Diamonds are lit up with purple lights as they walk down Main Street.
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    Darcy Schneider paints flowers during the Hot Cocoa Stroll.
  • Dan Kleiner at the Elgin Arts Association table hands a cup of hot cocoa to Khaliyah Huerta.
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    The float by Boy Scout Troop 182 includes a lit-up camping tent.
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    This year's live nativity performance included a real baby playing the part of baby Jesus.

Downtown Elgin was lively all day Saturday with various holiday-themed events, from a Hot Cocoa Stroll along Main Street in the afternoon to the Elgin Fire Department’s lighted Christmas parade after sundown, followed by a live nativity scene performed by St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Veterans’ Memorial Park.

According to the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, 17 local businesses and organizations served hot cocoa for the Hot Cocoa Stroll. CHeMn Cafe won the People’s Choice Award, Brooke Kannesha Smith won Best Cocoa and the Elgin Wellness Center won both Most Creative and Best Overall Hot Cocoa Experience.