Holiday Hold Up

Imani Sherrod

Here in Joliet we have many opportunities to come together during the holiday season and celebrate with a few activities such as, To Light up the Holidays festival and Parade in Downtown and the annual Nutcracker Ballet held at the Rialto theatre.  Sadly none of these events will be happening this year due to the recent pandemic outbreak.  The entire world has come to a stop because of COVID-19, and with it being the holiday season and everyone traveling the number in cases have increased causing some states to go back into forced quarantine and shutting businesses back down.

The Holiday parade that is held downtown is one of the biggest events of the season.  They have different school bands, small businesses, local sports teams, dance/workout studios, and many more.  Each float starts from a location and runs through all of downtown while throwing candy to children and handing out small little holiday trinkets to people.  This year they have decided to cancel the parade for the safety of participants. However the annual Tree lighting ceremony did take place on December 4.  Videos of the event have been posted onto youtube and facebook as well.  The only people who were there were partners of the event holders and contributors of the tree lighting ceremony.

As for the Rialto they always put on a production of The Nutcracker Ballet every year.  There are hundreds of dancers in beautifully designed costumes, and exquisite set designs. With the restrictions of this year the Rialto has not only canceled all holiday concerts but has chosen to cancel all shows up until April of 2021.  This is for the safety of not only the dancers, but the stage crews, orchestra and attendees of each production.  With the rise in cases the theatre has also been thinking of canceling next year’s events as well for safety reasons.

While Joliet has been making their events virtual, many places like Shorewood and Plainfield have been making events drive through safe.  Shorewood is hosting a Bubbles Holiday Drive-Thru event on saturday December 19th, 10am-12pm.  Children can come meet Santa Claus and Bubbles the mascot.  This event is partnered with Macy’s annual Believe campaign and for every letter collected, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish.  Santa and Bubbles will be standing waiting to take a selfie with the children at the end where they will have surprise gifts for children.

While the Holidays are just around the corner there are still things to go do with your family that are both safe and fun for everyone.  Making sure to stay healthy this season is the top priority of anyone and should be for you as well. If you plan to go out remember to wash your hands, wear a mask and stay safe, Happy Holiday’s!