The yearlong celebration culminated with the “A Dickens of a Holiday” event on Saturday, December 4, 2010. The event was an outdoor holiday party taking place at the new Willowbrook Town Center. Opened in 2007, the Willowbrook Town Center is the commercial/retail center in the town. The holiday event was designed to provide families with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the stores and restaurants of the Willowbrook Town Center while participating in a festive, fun filled day. Various businesses within the Willowbrook Town Center provided giveaways such as hot cocoa, hot apple cider, candy canes, cookies, dog treats and gift wrapping. Each participating store had a uniquely themed giveaway.
The 50th Anniversary Committee staffed a hospitality booth at a centrally located position within the Town Center. Located in the hospitality booth was Tiny Tim’s Corner and Bob Cratchit’s Food Depository where costumed members of the committee collected used clothing and non-perishable food items for donation. All items collected throughout the course of the day were donated to Our Lady of Peace and Our Lady of Mount Carmel food pantries for distribution. Guests of the event had the opportunity to participate in a contest to win a beautiful Village of Willowbrook 50th Anniversary ceramic keepsake ornament. The first 100 contestants to gather the images of the Twelve Days of Christmas from participating stores would receive an ornament.
The festive Town Center was decorated with donated trees which were decorated with ornaments made by children from Willowbrook schools. Throughout the event, every half hour, guests were treated to a new set of strolling carolers who entertained the crowds with holiday tunes. Choir members from Kingswood Academy, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Peace and Hinsdale South High School along with various Willowbrook residents braved the chilly temperatures to provide guests with a cheerful atmosphere. The Village’s Recreation Supervisor volunteered to take on the role of Santa Claus. Together with his Willowbrook Police Cadet elves, they passed out goodies and posed for photos with families for much of the day. The event concluded with a holiday tree lighting ceremony in the middle of the Town Center. The tree was decorated with white lights and gold ribbons representing Willowbrook’s Golden anniversary. Current Willowbrook President, Robert Napoli, had the honor of lighting the tree for the crowd of eager onlookers.