The residents of Tinley Park enjoyed their annual tree lighting and holiday market Friday night. The weekend will continue with festive events, including some quality time with Santa, ice carving, craft time and more.
Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki asked those attending the tree lighting to think about the American troops overseas during this holiday season and to thank them for their service.
"Please remember our troops who are in Afghanistan and other places," said Zabrocki. "Keep them in our prayers and our hearts. Let's remember the true meaning of Christmas."
The city takes up collections for care packages to servicemen and women and sends them out five times a year. The latest shipment, packed by a local Girl Scouts of America troupe, was sent out recently in order for them to be delivered by Christmas said Judy Bruning, administrative assistant to the mayor.
"With each new recipient overseas, we mail them a Tinley Park flag," said Bruning. "A lot of times, they'll send them back, signed. It's very special."
After the tree lighting, Tinley Park residents enjoyed the booths in the Holiday Market, which included a children's craft area, a cookie decorating stand, a table for children to write letters to the troops, several local craft and food vendors and more. The Tinley Park High School jazz ensemble and choir also performed.
The weekend will be filled with fun events, said Community Resource Commission Chair Reta Brudd.
"We'll have all sorts of good stuff," said Brudd. "And lots of good food and drink, and things to buy."
Saturday and Sunday's events will include Tinley's toyland parade Saturday morning and old fashioned carriage rides, photos with Santa, classic holiday movies at the Landmark Church all weekend. The tent stage will host a family fun show, the T-N-T Extreme Dance Group, an a capella quartet and the Bernie Glim and Country Roads Band on Saturday. On Sunday, a pre-school performance will be held as well as a showcase of the Dance Images Children's dance group, a hand bell choir and other musical performances.