By Marianne Mueller

Volunteers ireland McGuire and Addy Beilfuss helped sisters Olivia and Belle Stupples with creating a chocolate covered stir spoon at The Mix.

Rockton’s 38th annual Christmas Walk created the true spirit of the Christmas season with three days loaded with activities. Fun for everyone was offered from Friday Dec. 2 until Sunday, Dec. 4.

Sounds of the season started at the Rockton Municipal Center, (Village Hall) where Christmas tunes rang out of outdoor speakers.

Fun options started on Friday evening with the lighting of displays at Settler’s Park. Displays will be up through the holiday season.

Action moved to the Rockton American Legion, (American Center) where the sounds of the season were brought to life by Dueling Pianos in a sold out show.

Friends gathered together to participate in the fifth annual Christmas Walk the, “Ugly Sweater” pub crawl. Pub crawlers could start at any of the seven participating locations to pick up a stamp card, leading them toward possibly winning prizes.

Once again the American Legion was full as the Rockton Lions Club served breakfast while welcoming huge crowds. Little ones had their first opportunity to share Christmas wishes with Santa Claus.

Santa moved into a wonderfully decorated Rockton Village Hall, (Municipal Center) where he greeted guests for four hours.

Christmas themed crafts were created at various locations.

Talented acapella voices of the Rockford Barbershop Chorus captured a glimpse of Christmas magic as they performed in the Village Hall and in different businesses.

Ireland McGuire and Eddy Beilfuss directed guests on how to make a chocolate covered stir spoon. Offerings of peppermint, marshmallows and other toppings were added to spoons. Each was placed in a refrigerator allowing ingredients to set together.

Sugar Britches oversaw the S’Mores roasting station at Settler’s Park. The extra large marshmallows to be put in the center were made at Sugar Britches.

Wagon rides allowed Christmas Walk visitors a chance to take in different beautiful sites in the community.

Craft, collectibles, book, and bake sales each offered unique pieces to purchase for Christmas presents.

Early on Saturday evening members of the Cronin family honored the memory of Catherine “Katie” Cronin by placing special handmade ornaments, candies and items that could be used to feed birds.

Many years ago Katie was the chair of The Our Town Committee who lovingly decorated the Village Green Park every year. Family and friends counted down from 10 to see a fully lit, colorfully decorated park.

On Saturday evening the much anticipated lighted Christmas Parade hosted 40 entries that were full of lights, decorations and splendor.

Following the parade the American Legion bustled in excitement as the Wimpy’s Fund live and silent auction took place. In between Jodi May served as the events auctioneer. Tony Rocker: Christmas Elvis and the full band played tribute to the King with a variety of Christmas tunes.

“Tony Rocker was wonderful and Jodi May did a great job as auctioneer for the live auction. The silent auction was also a hit,” Christmas Walk attendee, Mary Morgan said.

Morgan adds, “The American Legion did a spectacular job, especially Scott, Darin and Mark in the hall Each kept everyone supplied with their favorite beverages. We also really enjoyed Dueling Pianos on Friday night. “

Sunday in the Rockton Village Hall  the River City Sound Sweet Adelines performed sounds of the season, New Years songs and popular tunes; each in four part harmony in a capella style, under the direction of Joan Boutilier.

The fifth annual Hot Cocoa crawl saw long lines of cocoa lovers sampling hot chocolate from Dee Dees Coffee and Decor, Dairyhaus, Sugar Britches, and the Mix in a commemorative mug, complete with a stir spoon. A people’s choice win for this year’s best flavor – caramel toasted marshmallow went to the Mix.

Rounding out this year’s event is the “Historic Homes for the Holidays Tour.” Visitors were warmly greeted inside three different homes, and given a full history.  Each had the halls decked out for the season. Seasonal refreshments were served.

The Rock ton Christmas Walk was organized by Rockton Village Planning and Development Administrator Tricia Diduch and was run through the Village of Rockton. Special thanks are sent to Chief Matt Hollinger and the Rockton Police Department, Fire Chief Kirk Wilson, Public Works Director- Dan Barber, Parks and Recreation Director- Don Self, and Jake Costello from the Rockton Public Works Department; each helped in a variety of ways throughout the weekend.

This event wouldn’t be possible without generous sponsors.

Terrie Garlow served once again as the Rockton Lions Club Wimpy’s Fund Auction Chair. “I have lived in this community for 54 years, and I love traditions that the community has developed, grown and have changed in my lifetime,” Garlow said.

“I was in the original Our Town committee who decorated the Village Green Park. We celebrated community out of that experience; now I enjoy my experience in a different way. I love the way the community comes together every year; which is exactly what Christmas is all about. One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Walk is the lighted parade. It is fun to watch the children’s faces,celebrations of the families each year which are all priceless. Going forward I am sure that we will develop more and to keep growing as new things are introduced.”

Mary Morgan reflected on this year’s event. “As a whole I think this was the best Christmas Walk ever,” Morgan said.

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