Selected Community Events
Breakfast With Santa at the Conservatory
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
1354 N. Second St., Rockford
Enjoy a tasty, family-friendly holiday themed breakfast in a warm tropical environment complete with seasonal decorations. There will also be holiday games, crafts, and tattoos, as well as photos with Santa. Admission is $8.00 per person ($10.00 non-resident); children ages 4 and younger admitted for half-price.
. For information about accessibility for visitors with disabilities, call 815-987-8800.
4th Annual "Operation: Social Santa" Toy Drive
This holiday season, several local businesses and schools will serve as drop-off locations for the 4th Annual "Operation: Social Santa," a nationwide toy drive organized via social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Locally, the event will take place December 1st-16th.
"Operation: Social Santa" uses the benefits of social networking to give back to children all over the country. Teams in each city tailor the event to meet the needs of their specific
community. In Rockford, participating businesses will be collecting new, unwrapped toys ($5-$15 value), which will then be donated to the Youth Services Network, and organization providing trauma-informed, holistic, and community-based services for local children and young adults ages 0-21, who are victims of physical, emotional, domestic, and/or sexual abuse. Donors are encouraged to tout their giving and spread the word using #SocialSanta on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To date, over 2,000 disadvantaged children in the Rockford area have received gifts from "Operation: Social Santa."
“Social media is a great tool for impacting a large group of people to influence social good. With "Operation: Social Santa," we’re not only helping children who might not get gifts or even
essential items this year, but also giving people a chance to give back to the community by doing what they already do every day – share information via social media,” said
Katie Dorland, coordinator of Rockford's "Operation: Social Santa."
Local donation locations are: Domino's Pizza on E. State St, Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Sherwin Williams, Servicom, Acument Global Technologies, Cherry Valley Shell, Belvidere High School, and Alpine Academy.
Domino's Pizza is offering a free order of Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes with every donation, and Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery is offering 30% off all lighting purchases with donation.
For more information, please visit www.Facebook.com/RockfordSocialSanta, www.twitter.com/RkfdTweetDrive,
Jim Waddel & Epiphany Present Performing During 18th Annual Christmas Concert
Grace United Methodist Church
3555 McFarland Road
Jim Waddell and members of local Christian rock band Epiphany will present their 18th annual Christmas concert. Waddell and Epiphany will perform "unplugged" versions of contemporary and traditional Christmas favorites, both sacred and secular. Special guests include Stephanie Waddell as well as the children of the musicians. A free-will donation will be taken with all proceeds going to Rock House Kids.
For more information, contact Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tree Farm Sales
Sand Ridge Prairie (former Sinnissippi Tree Farm)
2879 S. Daysville Road, Oregon, Ill.
For the third year, the Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County (PPSOC) will sell Christmas trees to raise money to pay for the land, which contains high quality prairie remnants.
Helpful “elves” will be available to help tree hunters find their tree, wrap it and load it.
For more information contact Sonia Vogl at (815) 732-7332
'Sounds of the Seasons' with the Talley's & Tribute Quartet
First Evangelical Free Church
2223 N. Mulford Road
The concert will feature a mixture of gospel and holiday music. Reservations are required.
Cost: $25, $35 after December 1st.
For information or reservations: email@example.com
Christmas in the Country
2907 Richland Road in Freeport, IL
-Red Oak Road to Richland Road, turn east to first house on the south side.
Come and celebrate the spirit of Christmas in the great outdoors. Visit with Santa in the sleigh, weather permitting or in the log cabin!
Enjoy the wonderland of lights, the young and young at heart are sure to enjoy. Patrons are reminded to dress warmly and bring your camera. Lights are on from dusk until 10:00 p.m. every night until January.
Santa's Hours: 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the following dates (weather permitting):
*Not responsible for accidents. Please do not touch lights or displays.
For special appointments call 815-297-3296 or 815-297-3298.
308 E Brayton Rd, Mt Morris IL 61054
For the ninth year, a free community Christmas concert, sponsored by three churches in Mt. Morris, is drawing musicians from this region to celebrate the holidays and support local food pantries. A Festival of Lessons and Carols will be presented Sunday, December 8, at 3:00 pm, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church , 308 East Brayton Road in Mt. Morris . The concert is presented free of charge to the public, although a freewill offering will be taken to support local food pantries Loaves and Fish Food Pantry in Mount Morris and Lifeline in Oregon.
The concert will feature more than 40 singers from communities throughout Ogle and Lee counties. The orchestra is comprised of six wind instruments, percussion, piano, organ, harpsichord and hand bells. Thirty minutes before the concert begins, there will be prelude music by Karen Larson, Lisa Suttman, Joanne Miller, Dr. Matt Guschl, a chime choir, directed by Melanie Clements and Dr. Matt Guschl, The Blackhawk Brass quintet, directed by Andy Eckardt, and Prairie Strings Orchestra, directed by Jennifer Peterson. During the offertory, the Community Youth Choir will sing, directed by Karen Larson.
This year’s concert will be an arrangement of many beloved and some less-known Christmas carols directed by Carol Reckmeyer and Nellie Winters. Karen Larson and Joanne Miller will accompany on piano, organ and technics. Nelson Miller, who originated the community Christmas cantata in 2004, is again serving as music director and producer.
The concert will conclude with the congregation invited to join the choir to perform Handel's Hallelujah chorus, a tradition begun in 2004 that remains an annual highlight.
The free community concert is sponsored by the Disciples United Methodist Church (815-734-4853), Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren (815-734-4573) and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris (815-734-6354). For more information go to www.disciplesumc.org, www.mtmcob.com or www.trinitymm.net.
Diane Palmer phone: 815.973.1432
Drive-thru Live Nativity
Riverside Community Church Machesney Park
Riverside Community Church is proud of feature our 2nd annual Drive-thru Live Nativity featuring real people and animals in 5 scenes with narration and music. There is no cost - it is our gift to the community.
Pastor Bobby Sheets at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-877-4444 or 815-988-0469
Epiphany with Jim Waddell Annual Christmas Concert Benefit
Grace United Methodist Church, 3555 McFarland Rd., Rockford, IL 61114
This annual concert benefits local non-profits working with children. This year's concert will benefit Rock House Kids. The concert is free, but a free-will offering will be taken during the concert with all proceeds going directly to Rock House Kids.
Jim Waddell, 815-621-5424
Bethlehem: A Virtual Experience
Beth Eden United Methodist Church, 3201 Huffman Blvd. Rockford, IL
Witness the beginning as you leave the hectic pace of your current lives to experience Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph arrived more than 2000 years ago. Touch the animals, smell the fresh baked bread, escape the Roman Soldiers and feel the excitement in the air as people in the town whisper about the baby that was born the night before. Search the town for baby Jesus, lying in a manger with Mary and Joseph keeping watch. Could this be the entrance of a King?
Jarrod Severing, 815-378-7754
U S Kingdom Convention "One Week with Jesus"
Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center
We cordially invite you to join us and the rest of the body in Christ representing all denomination is coming together for a week of encountering Jesus Christ. A Kingdom Convention “ONE WEEK WITH JESUS” is a time for the body to come together in one accord / unity for Jesus Christ to take center stage – Spirit filled setting for everyone to encounter Christ – hear members from the body speak the heart of Father – to Honor God – Glorify His name – Testify to His nature – Witness to His goodness – Praise – Worship.
12 guest speakers from all over the world coem to share the platform and speak the heart of Christ. Ministry breakdown for the convention:
Sunday night celebration at 7pm
Doors open at 5pm
Monday - Friday Workshop 9 am - 1pm
Monday – Friday night meetings @ 7pm
Doors open at 5:30
Two speakers per night
Saturday meeting @11am
Doors open at 9:00 am
Convention ends at 3pm
Kingdom Convention Partner Roundtable Reception at 5pm
This will be a time where you can get up close and personal with some of the Kingdom Convention Team in a relaxed round table atmosphere. You will also hear more about what God is doing around the world, and learn how to partner with us for global movement in a more significant way. There is an additional cost of $25 per person for this event, as a light lunch will be served. This will be a great time of fun, food, and fellowship, which will be followed by a special prayer of impartation. Because space is limited, reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
*Kingdom Convention Partner Roundtable Reception is a special time of fellowship and impartation with kingdom convention speakers Shara Pradhan, Philip Lopez, Andre King, Diana & Paul Winston, Michael E. Thomas Jr plus more… doors open at 5:00 PM. To register online ckilck this link:
Event Brite link
Michael E. Thomas Jr.
Christmas Family Fun Festival
New Life US 20 at Hoisington Rd between Winnebago and Pecatonica
Our Christmas Family Fun Festival includes family fun for everyone. Fun fair games, live nativity, sleigh or hay rides, fun fair games, live entertainment, carolers, and lots of indoor and outdoor fun. Soup, chili, sandwiches, Christmas cookies, and cocoa ~ everything is FREE!! Dress warm, because the night ends with an awesome FIREWORKS display!! Everyone is invited to join us.
Shelly Spickler www.newlifebiblechurch.cc 815-335-1405