Holiday spirit appeared to be alive and well Sunday at the annual Skating with Santa event at the Centennial Park ice rink in Orland Park.
Children of all ages were able to ice skate with St. Nick on the outdoor ice rink, accompanied by holiday music, and with complimentary hot chocolate available. There also was a bonfire where guests delightfully made s’mores.
Adrianna Lyons, 10, said, “I came to ice skate and decorate the trees with the ornaments I made in art class.”
As a first-time effort of the Parks and Recreation Department of Orland Park, trees around the ice rink were adopted by various groups and organizations in the area to be decorated with ornaments and mementos.
One such group was Orland School District 135, which named its tree the Fine Arts Tree.
“It’s a community event and we wanted to involve the students in our district of 10 schools with the crafts they made in their classes,” said Sharon Grasman, an art teacher at High Point School.
Painted bottles and hand-cut ornaments made by the students donned the district’s tree.
The Girl Scouts of Orland Park, Cub Scout Pack 372, and the STRIKE Committee also had uniquely themed trees decorated for the season.
Village Trustee Patricia Gira said the vibrant tree decorations reflected a good opportunity for residents to decorate a public tree closer to home.
“Most of these groups have decorated a tree at Brookfield Zoo in the past, but this gives them a chance to see their holiday spirit come to life where they live,” she said.
More trees are available to decorate at no cost for area organizations and groups to spread their own Christmas spirit.
Gira said the trees and events like Skating with Santa help promote the ice rink while giving people the chance participate in local holiday cheer.
“It’s a good way to show off this festive gem that is tucked away in this park,” she said.
The ice rink will be home to similar events and Bonfire Nights every weekend until Feb. 22.
[Via: The Southtown Star]