Downtown MC Christmas baskets

The Mount Carroll Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee has been working at the former Senior Center to transform the downtown flower baskets into Christmas baskets which will be installed by the city crew on street lights the first week in December. The baskets, which will replace the old wreaths, include boughs, ribbons, berries, pinecones, ornaments and lights. The project was funded by the City of Mount Carroll. Committee members pictured with a Christmas basket are, from left, Sharon Larsen, Pam Sorg, Peggy Kolb and Bonnie Howard. Committee members not pictured: Sibyl Doty, Nancy Gmitro and Wendy Major.

The Mount Carroll Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring several events to celebrate the holiday season.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Tour of Homes will not be held, however, the Chamber is sponsoring the Tour of Lights.

The Tour of Lights event begins Friday, Dec. 4, with the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. at the courtyard bandstand and ends Thursday, Dec. 31.

Judging will occur Dec. 4 and winners will be announced Dec. 5. There are five categories: Oh, Holy Night, Festive Business, Star Light/Star Bright, Dazzle & Delight and Winter Wonderland.

Winners of each category will receive a $100 prize in Chamber Bucks. To obtain a digital map of all participating homes and businesses, check out the Chamber Facebook Page.

The Chamber is also sponsoring a holiday raffle. Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20, and are available from board members or by emailing mcchambersecretary@gmail.com until Dec. 4. Grand prize is $150 cash.

Other holiday raffle prizes include a fresh wreath from West Point Tree Farm, a holiday arrangement from Flower Fan-a-See, a snow shovel from Mount Carroll Home Center, a one-year subscription to the Carroll County Mirror-Democrat, and a 2020 Mount Carroll Chamber ornament featuring the Community House.

Raffle inners will be announced at the Community Christmas Tree Lighting event.

For the first time, Joanie and Wayne Brooks will be displaying their unique Christmas Village downtown in the Kraft Building windows.

They have been collecting items since 1976. It is a very large village, complete with moving parts and lights, reminiscent of the window displays in downtown Chicago.

The display will begin Dec. 4 and continue throughout the Christmas season. Come see the incredible collection before the lighting ceremony.

The main event will be the Community Tree Lighting at the courthouse square.

Santa will arrive on a fire truck and will light the tree at 6 p.m. All children will receive 3-D glasses to make the experience more exciting. There will be no pictures taken with Santa this year.

Special guest artist Robert McFletcher-Jones from Timber Lake Playhouse will be performing holiday music at the lighting ceremony.  He is bringing several current TLP Teaching Artists to perform with him

Hot cocoa will be available for purchase from "Sean's Hot Cocoa Stand" starting at 5:30 p.m. Several shops will be open and curbside dining is available at local restaurants.

Masks and social distancing are encouraged.