The Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off the holiday season with Village Christmas in downtown Mahomet from Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.
The '40s and '50s-themed festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, with Santa Claus' arrival atop a vintage Cornbelt Fire Protection District vehicle, greeting community members on Main Street at 6 p.m. The traditional lighting of the tree and singing with Mr. and Mrs. Claus will follow shortly in front of The Nate Evans Group's office at 501 E. Main.
Perhaps the most exciting new element to this year's Village Christmas is a raffle for children to win a FurReal Munchin' Rex, a FurReal Snow Leopard or an Amazon Fire 7 kids-edition tablet.
To qualify for the raffle, community members should visit a participating downtown Mahomet business to receive an entry card on Friday. Attendees must collect a unique sticker from each participating business and return the completed card at any participating business by 8 p.m., when Santa Claus will draw a winner. Winners need not be present.
State Farm agent Darwyn Boston will host a Kids Shop at his new office at Sangamon on Main, 601 E. Main St., Suite 103, where children can shop for presents for their families and have gifts wrapped, all with the help of volunteers. Crafts will also be provided in the former Sangamon Elementary School's gymnasium.
Area vendors will also set up shop at Sangamon on Main to sell a wide array of holiday gifts, crafts and much more.
An old-fashioned soda parlor, provided by Jenkins Catering, will get attendees in the '40s and '50s holiday spirit.
"They'll have root beer floats, cherry Cokes, popcorn and several other light snacks," said Walter Pierce, Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce director. "We have a jukebox-type machine that will play some music from the '40s and '50s on loan from the good folks at the Waterford at Bridle Brook."
Carriage rides from Merrybeth Farm Carriage Service will also be provided Friday evening through Sunday along Main Street.
Mahomet-Seymour High School's madrigals will add the perfect touch of holiday cheer with caroling Friday, Nov. 30, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., followed by piano act Lance Meuser from 7:15 to 8 p.m. in downtown Mahomet.
Attendees will also want to check out area business's decorated wooden Christmas trees, which are handcrafted by Second Life Design's Jarrod Rodgers, an M-S grad. The decked-out trees will be in the grass area near the Village Administration Building, 503 E. Main St.
Community members are also encouraged to drop off coats and mittens as well as toys for Toys for Tots at a parked trolley in downtown Mahomet, courtesy of Matt and Alice Pommier of Yo Yo's Frozen Yogurt.
Saturday is another chance for youngsters to meet the big guy. Breakfast with Santa features a photo opportunity for families at Mahomet-Seymour High School's commons area.
Entry is $2 per person, which includes doughnut holes and other refreshments, a wrapped gift for each child and a time to meet Santa Claus. Additional activities include writing a letter to U.S. soldiers and a story hour.
A change in this year's Breakfast with Santa includes moving the meet-and-greet to time slots. Three time slots are available and include:
— 8 to 9 a.m.
— 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
— 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Breakfast with Santa tickets are available for purchase at any Mahomet bank or at the Mahomet IGA.
Mahomet IGA will host this year's Sampling of the Seasons Saturday featuring local holiday goodies.
The holiday hoopla picks up again Sunday at noon when community members are welcome to continue their shopping at Sangamon on Main and take another whirl on a carriage ride until 4 p.m.
For more information about Village Christmas, visit the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page or mahometchamberofcommerce.com.