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Holiday festivities begin in the region

Published: Nov. 14, 2020 at 8:59 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The holiday season is near and some Stateline residents will start to celebrate early.

At Williams Tree Farm in Rockton, staff open the gates for the first time for people to enjoy some holiday fun in a year where many say they need it.

“We are trying to have fun with this, what are the alternatives?" Owner of Williams Tree Farm Karen Williams said. “We might as well try to have fun with it.”

“With 2020 being the way it was we just wanted a little extra Christmas spirit this year," annual visitor to Williams Tree Farm Heather Homick said.

At Williams Tree Farm, staff say there are many ways to score the best tree. Whether you cut your own, or opt for a new curbside pickup option, staff say it’s their attempt to keep people safe in a pandemic.

“We built extra wagons, we built extra carts, just tried to do as much as we can to give a safe and wonderful experience both to our customers but our staff as well,” Williams said.

The tree farm sits on a 900-acre property, 300 acres of it is trees for people to take home, but there are other holiday attractions on site.

“It’s sad because the most enjoyable part for Santa and Mrs. Claus is having the kids sit on our laps and we don’t have that luxury this year," Williams Tree Farm’s Santa Claus said.

In Loves Park, a church brings people from all backgrounds to a market. Each vendor represents an organization fighting for change, and the proceeds support specific humanitarian goals.

“Some organizations focus on trafficking, some focus on orphanages," Jamie Opperman with Redeemer Church said. "Just whatever need is greatest whether it’s poverty alleviation or if it’s just different ways to employee folks that need a living wage.”

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