Light Up the Holidays Festival & Parade

Presented by the University of St. Francis
Downtown Joliet – Friday, November 29, 2019 – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival is held on the Friday following Thanksgiving each year. Activities begin downtown as early as 10:00 a.m., and include the Fantastic Fun Fair in the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s auditorium, as well as activities in the Joliet Public Library, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-n-Spice, Chevere Latin Cafe, JJC City Center Campus and more. The Rialto Square Theatre’s annual holiday festivities also add to the holiday spirit in Downtown Joliet!

Christmas Tree Lighting begins at 5:15 p.m. in Van Buren Plaza followed by the Light Up The Holidays Parade at 5:30 p.m.

For information, contact us via email or 815-774-6066


2019 Activity List

Check back in the fall!

2018 Activity List

Joliet Area Historical Museum Free Day
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
204 N. Ottawa St.
It’s a FREE day at the Joliet Area Historical Museum! Kick off the holiday season with a day full of fun festivities. Come on by the Fantastic Fun Fair presented by the JAHM and the Joliet Park District to meet Santa Claus and enjoy tons of activities like a gnome show, holiday themed kids crafts & STEM activities, holiday treats, and a performance by the JTHS Band!

  • 10:00 a.m.
    • Doors Open
    • JJC Ice Sculpting in front of the Museum
    • Santa Arrives
    • Activities & Crafts on all three floors
    • Holiday Movie in Visitor Center
  • 11:00 a.m.
    • Performance by JTHS Central Jazz Ensemble in Auditorium
  • 12:00 p.m.
    • Bicentennial Park Gnomes performance
  • 1:00 p.m.
    • JTHS Robotics Team demonstration in Auditorium
  • 2:00 p.m.
    • Performance by the Saint Joseph Academy Choir of Joliet and Kids
      Christmas Choir of Fine Tunes Center for the Arts of Channahon
  • 3:00 p.m.
    • Joliet American Legion Band Small Ensemble performance

7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
251 N. Chicago St.
Stop by Chicken-N-Spice for a free holiday treat from Santa’s elves and grab $1 hot chocolate!

Joliet Public Library
9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
150 N. Ottawa St.
Visit the library for special story time with Santa at 12:00 and 2:00. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk will join Santa for the 2:00 storytime! A horse and carriage will also be outside from 3:00 to 5:00 for pictures.

Chicago Street Pinball Arcade
11:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m.
215 N. Chicago St.
Joliet’s pinball arcade will be open all day for tons of fun! Kids and adults alike will have a great time on the many pinball machines here.

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
76 N. Chicago St.
Free coloring books & crayons, with purchase, for customers.

Sue Regis Glass Art
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
81 N. Chicago St., Suite 103
Enjoy LIVE Flameworking demonstrations by Sue Regis at no charge. Store open from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

C&C Vision Gallery
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
179 N. Chicago St.
All kids are welcome to join us in creating a holiday ornament! Kids – make an eyeglass ornament for the tree and we’ll give your parents 50% off their glasses!

Art of Breath Galeria
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
34 W. Clinton St.
Visit local artist Ruben Calderon at his gallery for live Christmas paintings before the parade!

Gji’s Sweet Shoppe
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
81 N. Chicago St.
Come to Gji’s Sweet Shoppe to decorate delicious holiday cookies with Mrs. Claus!

Jitters Coffee House
3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
178 N. Chicago St.
Come to Jitters and have your photo taken on Santa’s lap, or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate! Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be here from 3:15 to 5:00 p.m. Be sure to come capture the moment with them next to the 12ft Christmas tree.
Jitters will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Rialto Square Theatre
102 N. Chicago St.
Warm up before the parade and enjoy free cider to the first 500 people in the Rialto box office lobby between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.

Teddy Bear Tea
9:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25
Create a memory that will last forever and enjoy a special holiday brunch in a sweet fairyland. Young and old alike will enjoy this special brunch featuring delicious food and fun workshop activities complete with a special appearance by St. Nick and a keepsake Rialto Bear for each child.

  • Light Up the Holidays Photo Gallery


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