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Local merchants team up for HolidayWauk

A storefront across from Genesee Theatre is prepared for HolidayWauk scheduled for Saturday Dec. 7 businesses throughout Waukegan's downtown district.

A storefront across from the Genesee Theatre is prepared for HolidayWauk, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, at businesses throughout Waukegan's downtown district. | Dan Moran/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 7, 2014 6:36AM

WAUKEGAN — Storefront windows along Genesee Street were painted this week with images of Christmas trees and the Mouse King from “The Nutcracker,” as volunteers from Waukegan Main Street prepared for the annual HolidayWauk on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival features both indoor and outdoor events and is slated to culminate with the lighting of the city’s holiday tree in Jack Benny Plaza, located on the southwest corner of Genesee and Clayton streets.

“HolidayWauk gets everyone into the spirit of the season,” Main Street executive director Jane Ferry said in a statement detailing the lineup of activities. “It’s fun to see the decorated storefronts and to take part in craft activities throughout the Main Street District.”

Ferry added that organizers hope to “celebrate the true spirit of the season by encouraging visitors to give back to those who are less fortunate.”

Among the charitable opportunities are a Toys for Tots collection at Your This And That Shop, 114 N. Genesee; a non-perishable food drive for local families at Nele’s Art Gallery, 106 S. Genesee; and hand-made Christmas cards for Lovell Medical Center patients at State Rep. Rita Mayfield’s district office, 120 S. Genesee.

All told, the festival features activities or food specials at 20 different locations in the business district. The offerings include a Pre-Kwanzaa Demonstration, Crafts and Marketplace from noon to 4 p.m. at the College of Lake County, 33 N. Genesee; a free screening of “The Santa Claus” at 1:30 p.m. at the Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.; and free family art projects sponsored by the Waukegan Park District from noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Surf Designs, 118 S. Genesee.

At the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee, the schedule of free events includes on-stage photos with Santa Claus starting at 1:30 p.m. and performances by choirs from Glen Flora Elementary School, Jack Benny Middle School and Abbott Middle School from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The Karcher ArtSpace Lofts, 405 Washington St., will host Kinder Fest, featuring jewelry making and cookie baking. Also at the Karcher, holiday pet photos will be offered by Waukegan Animals Getting Saved, or WAGS. Both events run from noon to 6 p.m. and require a participation fee.

During the hours of the event, the city will offer free parking at both metered street spaces and all surface lots.

For more information, including a complete list of activities and participating businesses, visit or call (847) 623-6650.

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