By Marianne Mueller


Rockton’s Christmas Walk is getting an extra dose of Christmas cheer this year.  An estimated 20 businesses, organizations or individuals have been brainstorming in an effort to create unique Christmas displays in Settlers Park.

This new event will give residents and visitors something fun to do throughout the holiday season.  The public is invited enjoy detailed ensembles anytime from Friday evening, Dec. 4 until Jan. 6, 2021.

There is plenty of room to participate prior to the Dec. 4 deadline to have displays completed and fully working. During the application process details on electrical constraints from the Public Works plus all pertinent information will be supplied. 

The Gem Shop & Diamond Source is one of this year’s Presenting Sponsors. In addition to detailing decorations in and around the shop they are one of the businesses who are taking part in crafting a display in the park. “We are doing a ‘Christmas at Home’ for the holidays in your local community theme; both for our display and at the shop,” Gem Shop Manager Shelly Schweigart said. “Guests who stroll through the park can check out a breathtaking tree full of silver and gold toned bulbs that resemble gemstones mixed with crystal dangles. Extra props such as a rocking chair promise to add to what is certain to be an eye-catching festive arrangement.

“We figured since many might be staying home this Christmas that this would be fitting for this year’s holiday. We are trying to bring in as much normal Christmas time spirit as possible,” Schweigart adds.

Joining the Gem Shop as a Presenting Sponsor is Brass Octopus.

“Our display should be easy to spot as it will be front and center,” Brass Octopus owner Theresa Harris said. “We will be fashioning a large wooden ‘tree’ laden with fabric, lights, ornaments along with a big handmade Octopus on top. “Helping with this feat is a “Brassy Consortium” consisting of over 200 members who are making and donating ornaments.

“What makes this extra special is the fact that these special pieces are starting to roll in from all over the country. The latest batch came in from Mississippi,” Harris said. The Brassy Consortium is a Facebook group who has a lot of fun together and supports each other as makers.

Candy Cane sponsor Sugar Britches is teaming up with a total of around a dozen people including members of community organizations, Sugar Britches employees and Super fans of the store. Imaginations are soaring. “All I can say about our display is that it is very thematic,” Sugar Britches owner Jodi May said. 

Watch for a fun twist as Candy Cane sponsor The Dairyhaus fully customizes their display.

“This event should be a really fun addition,” Christmas Walk organizer, Tricia Diduch said.

Forms complete with details of participation can be found on the Rockton Christmas Walk website at Call 815-624-0935 for more information regarding the 36th annual Christmas Walk.

As always the Village Green Park will be decked out and full of beauty in decorations. In order to keep up with COVID-19 restrictions many traditional activities have been canceled this year including the Lighted Christmas parade which the Lighted displays are replacing for now.

Plans and hopes are that in 2021 youth from Rockton schools will return led in singing Christmas carols and to invite the audience to join them in a sing along. Also planned to be coming back is the reading of a poem and the dedication of Katie’s Tree in the Village Green Park. Official park lighting is also postponed until next year. Other events are expected to return by next year’s walk as well.

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