On Friday December 4th Belvidere hosted the annual Hometown Christmas. Almost every year, on the first Friday in December the streets are filled with people celebrating Christmas with their family and friends. The local businesses were bustling with people, and fun and festive activities lined the streets. This year it had to be different. Because of the global pandemic, it wouldn’t be safe to celebrate Hometown Christmas normally.
The Belvidere chamber wanted to continue the fun so they came up with an idea that would be safe during this time. This year there were food trucks that line the streets as well as a drive-through light show In Belvidere Park. Belvidere wanted to create a similar celebration but at a distance. Local businesses set up festive displays and handed out treats to people that drove by their displays. All I wanted to do was brighten the community’s Christmas spirit. “Even in these trying times, the park district is always trying to make sure there’s some sort of quality of life still being provided to the residents in the community. So we’re grateful that we’re still able to do this,” said Belvidere Park District executive director Mark Pentecost. To be able to come to this event it was free but you needed to pre-register so that your car had a place in the drive-through parade.
There were also special appearances from the Grinch, Elf on the Shelf, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Many people reported that they enjoyed the show and they got many fun giveaway treats and goodies. They said that they packed snacks and other goodies along with hot chocolate in their favorite thermals. Not only did Belvidere put on an exciting Christmas event but they also made it distanced, safe, and family-friendly for all ages to enjoy.