December 4 & 5, 2015

Celebrating Dundee's Community Spirit
During the Holiday Season

2015 marks the 28th year of our annual Dickens in Dundee event to kick off the Christmas season. We invite all area residents to come out and join in the fun!

Dickens in Dundee was formed in 1988. It began as a small community gathering, with caroling and the search for Tiny Tim's crutch in local stores. With the financial support of local businesses and the Villages of East Dundee and West Dundee, it has grown into a weekend holiday festival which attracts a people from all over the Dundee area.

The former Dundee Jaycees organized Dickens in Dundee from 1995 until 2005. The Villages of East and West Dundee and a committee of community volunteers took the reigns in 2006 to keep the event alive.

The Dundee Lions Club, Dundee Historical Society and other organizations have also been very instrumental in the success of Dickens in Dundee throughout the years. Local churches and businesses traditionally support Dickens in Dundee by hosting holiday events and open houses to coincide with the weekend festivities.

The weekend kicks off each year on the first Friday in December, with tree lighting ceremonies in both East and West Dundee. Residents and visitors stroll through downtown East and West Dundee to see local merchant's windows "come alive" during Living Windows.

Saturday begins with the cornerstone event: the Spirit of Christmas Parade. The parade begins at Second Street in West Dundee and travels across the Main Street Bridge into East Dundee, ending at the Dundee Township Visitors Center (The Depot) on River Street. Other popular events include Gingerbread House Making, Festival of Trees, Santa's Petting Zoo and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus himself!

Events take place in East and West Dundee. See the Schedule of Events for a complete listing, event descriptions, dates, times and locations.

Want to Volunteer?

Dickens Committee Contacts

Village of West Dundee
Joe Cavallaro
Barbara Traver & Kim Tibbetts
(847) 551-3800
Email West Dundee

Village of East Dundee
Karen Blair & Erin Weingart
(847) 426-2822 Email East Dundee

Spirit of Christmas Parade
Kim Tibbetts & Tim Haley
(847) 428-5849
or Village Hall (847) 551-3800
Email the Parade Committee

Christmas Tree Sales
Dundee Lions Club
Mike Buhrmann
(847) 204-2532
Email Mr. Buhrmann

Ron Rhoades Festival of Trees
Dundee Lions Club
Jim McClung
(847) 931-7127
Email Mr. McClung

2015 Sponsors:

Charles Dickens Sponsors:
Riverwalk Apartments
Baird & Warner

Bob Cratchit Sponsors:
Around The Corner Candy
Bikini Bottom Bar
Law Offices of Harlovic & Perko

Petting Zoo Sponsor:
First American Bank

Santa's Sleigh Sponsor:
Schock's Towing

Tiny Tim Sponsor:
Francesca's Campagna

Living Windows
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Main St between 2nd St & River St
& River St between Main & Barrington

Watch as the storefronts in downtown East and West Dundee come to life with holiday scenes. There will be a ton of great window displays to see, as well as special offerings and events from our downtown businesses.

In West Dundee, start at Francesca's and make your way east on the south side of Main Street. They cross over at First Street and make your way back, ending at Emmett's.

In East Dundee, start by The Depot and head south along River Street and west on Main Street. Six scenes from A Christmas Carol will be presented along River Street.

Click to see which storefronts will be hosting Living Windows.

Living Windows 2015

    East Dundee
  • TBA

"Toys For Tots" Toy Drive & Fundraiser
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 pm — 1:00 am
And through December 11

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted, thereby providing a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

The Marine will be collecting unwrapped NEW toy donations for Toys for Tots during Living Windows from 6-8 pm at Bikini Bottom Bar & Grill, 105-107 W Main. The Marines will also be accepting monetary donations to the Toys for Tots program. In exchange, a paper train identifying each donation will be hung in the window. Fundraising will continue until 1:00 am.

Bii Natural Salon is also accepting unwrapped NEW toy donations for Toys for Tots at their location at 1955 Huntley Rd through December 11, 2015.

East Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 pm

The Depot - 319 River Street, East Dundee

Join East Dundee officials for the lighting of the Village Christmas tree and the joyful sounds of the Dundee-Crown Chamber Choir.

Immediately following the tree lighting, Santa will arrive on a fire truck to greet families and their children. Take pictures with Santa in The Depot with hot chocolate and cider provided by volunteers of the Dundee Township Visitor's Center.

Listen to the sounds of Victorian carolers, The Frozen Robins, as River Street is turned into a winter wonderland!

Winter Wonderland Tent
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00-9:00 pm
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

The Depot - 319 River Street, East Dundee

Join Neu Family Dental at the Depot on Friday during Living Windows and on Saturday following the Parade to warm up under the heated tent. Enjoy hot chocolate, fun winter games and get your picture taken with characters from Disney’s FROZEN.

Horse-Drawn Carriage/Wagon Rides
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
& Sat Dec 12, 19 & 26 from 4:00 – 8:00 pm

River Street, East Dundee

Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown East Dundee on Friday night from 6-9pm. Adults (12 and older) cost $10, no charge for children under 12. On Saturday, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides after the parade from 10am-2pm. Adults (12 and older) cost $5, no charge for children under 12.

Carriage rides will continue on Saturdays from 4-8pm throughout the month of December.

Warming House & Santa Claus
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

West Dundee Village Hall - 102 S 2nd Street

Warm up at West Dundee Village Hall with a cup of hot chocolate and some yummy Christmas cookies, while you visit with the Village Board members and the man in red!

Shop With A Cop Raffle
FRIDAY 12/4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

West Dundee Village Hall - 102 S 2nd Street

Shop With A Cop of Dundee Township works to build positive relationships between police officers and the children of our community. Each year, area police officers sit down to a holiday breakfast with area children in need, including a visit from Santa, and join the children on a shopping trip at Wal-Mart to select a Christmas treat. Families also receive

To support this program, you may purchase a chance to win exciting raffle prizes. Shop with a Cop Raffle chances are $5.00 each of 5 for $20.00. Prizes include:

  • $1,000 Cash! - sponsored by Schock's Towing & Shop With A Cop
  • Beats Special Edition HP 15.6 Inch Laptop - sponsored by Rainbow Landscaping & Pete's A Towing
  • Blackhawks vs Predators Tickets & Blackhawks Fan Package - sponsored by Mr & Mrs Swierkosz & Pro Image Sports
  • $200 Vehicle Handwash & Detail Gift Certificate & $50 Gas Card - sponsored by TLC Handwash & Detail & Shell
  • $50 Francesca's Gift Card & $80 Bii Salon Gift Basket - sponsored by Francesca's Campagna & Bii Hair Salon

Winners will be drawn shortly before 8:00 pm. Need not be present to win.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the West Dundee Police Department, 555 S. 8th Street.

West Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
FRIDAY 12/4, 7:00 pm

West Dundee Village Hall - 102 S 2nd Street

Join West Dundee officials for the lighting of the Village Christmas tree and the joyful sounds of the Dundee-Crown Chamber Choir.

Fezziwig’s Family Festivities
FRIDAY 12/4, 8:00 – 10:00 pm

VFW Post 2298 - 117 S. First St.

Wrap up the evening in the warmth of the VFW's back banquet hall for a gathering of friends and neighbors with free appetizers, a cash bar and entertainment by West Dundee's own Controlled Burn.

"The Polar Express" 30th Anniversary Celebration
FRIDAY 12/4, 7:00 pm

Barnes & Noble - Spring Hill Mall

All aboard! In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beloved classic The Polar Express, Barnes & Noble at Spring Hill Mall is hosting a pajama Storytime. There will be crafts to make and tons of fun!

For more information, visit

Breakfast with Santa
SATURDAY 12/5, 9:00 – 11:30 am

Randall Oaks Golf Club and Banquets - 4101 Binnie Road

Start your day with a hearty Breakfast Buffet in the company of Santa himself. Don't forget to stop and tell him what is on your Christmas list!

Reservations are required. Call (847)428-5661 ext 2 to reserve your seat. Click here for more information.

Dickens Breakfast
SATURDAY 12/5, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

VFW Post 2298 - 117 S. First St.

Before the parade kicks off, stop in for a made-to-order breakfast at the VFW, including eggs, bacon, potatoes and other breakfast favorites.

Spirit of Christmas Parade
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:00 am

Main St (72) from 2nd St in West Dundee
to River St (The Depot) in East Dundee

Gather with friends and neighbors along Main Street in anticipation of Santa's appearance during this classic Christmas parade./p>

Parade Registration Form

Register by E-Mail or Fax: 847-551-3809 by Monday, November 23. Questions? call Village Hall at 847-551-3800.

See who's registered for the parade

Spirit of Christmas Parade 2015

  • Grand Marshall: TBA
  • Allegiance Color Guard
  • Boy Scout & Cub Scout Troop 43, Carpentersville
  • Cambridge Lake Charter School
  • Carpentersville Fire Department
  • Citizens for Dan Wilbrandt
  • Cub Scout Pack 3, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Cub Scout Pack 36, Dundee Highlands
  • Cub Scout Pack 88, Sleepy Hollow
  • DCTC Jr. Chargers Football & Cheer
  • Dundee Animal Hospital
  • Dundee Arts Alliance (Artisicology, Honey Poo Poo's & swell gallery)
  • Dundee-Crown Marching Chargers
  • Dundee Township Highway Department
  • Dundee Township Visitor's Center
  • East Dundee & Countryside Fire Protection District
  • East Dundee President & Board of Trustees
  • East Dundee Police Department
  • East Dundee Public Works Department
  • Girl Scouts of Northern IL
  • Golden Paws (Golden Retriever owners are welcome to join!)
  • Northern Kane County Chamber
  • Rutland-Dundee Fire Department
  • Santa's Village Azoosement Park
  • Snowmobile Safety Patrol of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County
  • The Ballet Box
  • The Early Education Station
  • VFW Color Guard
  • VFW Women's Auxiliary
  • VFW Men's Auxiliary
  • West Dundee Fire Department
  • West Dundee Police Department
  • West Dundee Public Works Department
  • West Dundee President & Board of Trustees
  • ...and of course, Santa on his sleigh!

Line-up starts at 9:10 AM
Parade starts promptly at 10 AM

Santa's Workshop
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Grafelman Park

Pay a visit to Santa, make some fun holiday crafts and enjoy treats and hot cocoa.

Petting Zoo
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Grafelman Park

Santa's Petting Zoo is sponsored by First American Bank.

Gingerbread House Making
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

First United Methodist Church - 4th & Main

Make memories while decorating your very own gingerbread house. The kit comes with a fully assembled gingerbread house, and all of the candy and goodies that you will need to decorate "to the nines".

Limit one kit per family. (If sufficient quantities remain after 1:00, additional kits may be purchased.)

While you're here, get your face painted by the Dundee-Crown Art Club.

Christmas Tree Sales
SATURDAY 12/5 & SUNDAY 12/6, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Nov 27 through Dec 13 (click to see hours)

Grafelman Park Tennis Court - 5th & Washington

Purchase your Christmas tree from the Dundee Lions Club!

Sales will begin on "Black Friday", November 27 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Regular hours will be Thursdays & Fridays from 6:00 - 8:00 pm and Saturdays & Sundays from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Tree sales will end on Sunday, December 13.

The Dundee Lions will take collection of non-perishable food items and disposable diapers for donation to the FISH Pantry. Eye glasses, cell phones and battery chargers, hearing aids, old keys and holiday light strings will be collected for recycling.

Ron Rhoades Festival of Trees
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Grafelman Park - Main St between 4th & 5th

Walk the gallery of unique and beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local school groups and clubs.

Trees are decorated on Friday and judged for "Creativity", "Beauty" and "Holiday Spirit", with 3 Gold Awards ($40) and 3 Silver Awards ($25) given in each category.

An additional People's Choice Award ($50) will be determined via Facebook. Vote for your favorite tree on the Dundee Lions Facebook Page beginning on or about Sunday, December 6, through approximately Sunday, December 13.

Sponsored by the Dundee Lions Club.

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" Storytime
SATURDAY 12/5, 11:00 am

Barnes & Noble - Spring Hill Mall

Head over to Barnes & Noble at Spring Hill Mall for coloring and activities in celebration of all things Grinch.

For more information, visit

Community Gingerbread House Contest
From 11/17 until 12/5 at 1:30 pm

Contestants can create their own gingerbread houses from scratch or may purchase a kit from Piece-A-Cake Bakery beginning on Tuesday, November 17 (limited quantities available). Gingerbread house kits will also be available as part of the Gingerbread Village event on December 5.

All entries must be made of gingerbread, must be edible and must have a base no larger than 18". Decorated houses can be dropped off beginning Tuesday, December 1 at Piece-A-Cake Bakery, 304 River Street in East Dundee, and must be received by Saturday December 5 at 2:30 pm.

Winners must be present at 319 N. River Street in East Dundee on December 5 at 3:00 pm for the final announcements. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Recreational (under age 18) and Professional (age 18+). Decorated houses will be on display throughout the week leading up to December 6.

Besides bragging rights, prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category.

Reading of A Christmas Carol
SATURDAY 12/5, 1:30 pm

The Mansion Bed & Breakfast - 305 W Oregon

Cozy in to the Victorian elegance of the Mansion and listen while Victoria Wilbrandt reads a short version of Charles Dickens' classic tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, whose cold and embittered heart is warmed by the joys and rewards of love.

Sweets & Crafts Shop
SATURDAY 12/5, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

First United Methodist Church - 4th and Main

Enter on the west side of the church into the Fireside Room for a cup of chilli or a grilled cheese while you shop for some Christmas crafts. Items range from $1-$10.

For more information, contact the Church office at 847-426-2113.

Cookie Walk, Boutique
SATURDAY 12/5, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

First Congregational Church - 900 S 8th St (31)

Homemade holiday cookies and candies will be available in many varieties and will be sold by weight at “The Church on the Hill.” Pick your own specialty holiday cookies from the selection; there is no need to bake this Christmas! A boutique of handmade holiday items – gifts and home decor – will also be on sale.

This year’s event will be also include a Nativity Walk. Nativity sets, borrowed from congregation members, will be on display along with a bit of their history.

For further details, call the church at 847-426-2161 ext. 202 or visit their website at

Dickens of a Christmas Sale
SATURDAY 12/5, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 410 W Main St

Join the Dundee Township Historical Society for a "Dickens of a Sale", featuring new and gently used Christmas items sold at reasonable prices.

Stop in for lunch across the hall in the "Bethlehem Kitchen".

Bethlehem Kitchen
SATURDAY 12/5, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 410 W Main St

Cold outside? Come warm up and enjoy hot soup, sandwiches and hot cocoa, and top it all off with a sweet holiday treat at the Bake Sale. All proceeds from the luncheon will be donated to the FISH Food Pantry to assist local families in need this holiday season.

Raffle tickets will be available for $2, or 3 tickets for $5, to win a handmade quilt. Winners will be drawn on December 15.

Stop across the hall at the Historical Society's "Dickens of a Sale".

Hidden History of "A Christmas Carol"
SATURDAY 12/5, 2:00 pm

Fox River Valley Library District
Dundee Library - 555 Barrington Ave (Rte 68), East Dundee

Unravel the mystery behind this beloved story, its immortal characters and the genius that was Charles Dickens.

What events inspired the Carol to be written? Who was it written for? How did Dickens’ historical novel “single-handedly resurrect” Christmas at a time when factories were open and churches were closed on December 25th? By 1900, no other book in the world had sold more copies except the Bible.

Author Rochelle Pennington provides a factual perspective and behind-the-scenes insights into the epic influence of Dickens’ immortal characters: Ebeneezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, and a trio of Christmas ghosts.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Please register at or call (847) 428-3661, press 3.

House Decorating Contest
Online voting

Throughout East and West Dundee

Residents of East and West Dundee are invited to compete in an outdoor decorating contest in conjunction with Dickens in Dundee. The award categories have been amended this year to keep it fun and fresh - They are as follows:

Best Nostalgic Display (think Norman Rockwell)
Best Use of Lighting
Best Clark Griswold (excessive lights & decorations)
Reason for the Season (religious displays)
Inside Out (indoor display visible from the street)
Best Decorated Business
Best Decorated Block *

Register your house, block or business by Tuesday, December 1, 2015 by sending an email to If you do not have email access, stop by Village Hall (East or West Dundee) or The Depot to enter. Entries must include your name, address of the property, contact information and which category you would like to compete in.

*For the Best Decorated Block, only one resident needs to enter in this category for the block to be considered. Encourage your neighbors to go all out, or coordinate on a theme.

Houses will be photographed for judging on Saturday, December 5 between 6:00 & 9:00 pm. (Be sure the turn the lights on!) Photos of participating homes will be posted online, where the public will vote for the winners in each category. Stay tuned to for voting details and link.

Winners will be notified and posted online by Sunday, December 6. Besides bragging rights, prizes include, but are not limited to, a customizable Riverwalk Brick and a beautiful photo of your winning entry by West Dundee photographer Cindy Kennedy.

Santa Express Christmas Mailbox
Nov 1 through Dec 24

Send your letter to Santa via Santa Express! Letters to Santa can be dropped into the Santa Express Mailbox at Around The Corner Candy through Christmas Eve.