A busy holiday season planned in Western Illinois

Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 9:40 PM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - Heading into the holiday season, towns throughout Western Illinois are gearing up for the festivities.

Over the weekend, a synchronized light display was lit in Chandler Park in downtown Macomb.

Efforted by Western Illinois University retiree Monte Colley, the display lights turn on and off to the beat of Christmas songs heard on Macomb area station 89.1 FM.

Colley began the process of synchronizing the display to each of the seven current songs in January as he said it can take up to 50 hours to sync the lights to a single three minute song.

“It’s all networked together and pretty much all of them are pixels, so you can program every single light any color you want and there’s about 50,000 of them [lights],” Colley said.

Colley began the light display more than 15 years ago at his home. However, moving to a different house called for the display to make a move to Chandler Park.

Colley said his career in engineering prompted him to showcase the lights every year.

“When I came to work for Western, I worked for facilities and more in the management, and I still needed that niche to do the engineering type stuff where you build it, you watch it and it works,” Colley added.

Colley plans to add another song or two to the repertoire next year.

A light show can be seen from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. everyday through Jan. 1.

On Dec. 2, Downtown Macomb is also the site of the Dickens on the Square “A Magical Holiday” event.

Click here for a full calendar of events in Macomb.

Nauvoo Festivities to Kick Off

About an hour west of Macomb, Nauvoo has holiday plans of their own.

Starting on Thursday, Dec. 1, the Nauvoo Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a tree decorating contest.

Chamber President Tom Grant said the goal is for there to be as many Christmas trees down Mullholland Street (the main drag in town) as there possibly can be.

Starting Dec. 3 is Merrymaking on Mullholland. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, certain local businesses will have one item marked with a red ribbon. Finding the item results in a prize.

When receiving a prize, the merchant will award a ticket to activities including ornament making with Cambre House, nativity display at the Havenlight Gallery and more.

Also on Dec. 3 is the Nauvoo Fire Protection District’s annual soup supper.

Grant said these holiday events add to Nauvoo’s small town charm while also promoting the concept of shopping local this holiday season.

“As the seasons change, sometimes it can get where you just stay in your home because maybe the weather is not all that great or maybe there’s not a lot of activities going on in the area,” Grant said. “Nauvoo wanted to let everyone know that we’re still open for business, for fun and for family activities.”

Planned for Dec. 9 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is the Old Nauvoo Community Christmas Walk. This event includes free wagon rides, storytelling, live nativity and music.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, there will be a live show by Nauvoo’s Annual Handel’s Messiah Choral Performance at Legacy Theater in Carthage, Ill..

The 2nd Annual Dickens Christmas Ball at Smokin’ Guns Event Center is planned for Dec. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. The event includes dance instruction, Victorian dancing and parlor games.

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