Roscoe Village’s Winterfest, sponsored by the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, started with the annual tree lighting at 5pm on Saturday, Dec. 4. Many families arrived a few minutes before 5 p.m. for the event. With to-go coffee cups, children, and dogs in tow, these Roscoe Village residents watched the tree lighting and milled around after to sing some Christmas carols.
Congressman Mike Quigley was there to say a few words, as were a couple of shop owners, but it was difficult to hear them over the squeaks and screams of more than half a dozen kids running around throwing perfectly packed snowballs. Saturday was a perfect December night, and everyone seemed to enjoy the slight cold and lightly falling snow. The crowd piqued the interest of several people walking by, drawing people into the local stores, which were open until 9 p.m.
On Sunday, several stores on Roscoe Street, Belmont Avenue and one on Lincoln Avenue had treats such as arts and crafts, hot chocolate, cider and wine, and live music at various times between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Several stores on Roscoe offered special discounts through the weekend.
Jen Toomey, owner of Smarty Party, and Nora Stewart, owner of Unicoi Art Studio, have each participated in Winterfest for the last three years. This year Unicoi Art Studio had paper gingerbread houses, Mrs. Magilliclaus, and magic trees for local kids. Smarty Party offered ornament decorating.
I asked Toomey why she decided to participate, “I love our neighborhood. I’m a longtime resident and business owner, and it’s a fun way to connect with neighbors and customers and kids.” According to Jen, the turnout is hit or miss mainly depending on the weather, but the 20-degree weather didn’t seem to keep families away from the shops. If the amount of strollers being pushed up and down Roscoe is any indication, Winterfest was a success.