How enduring is tradition in Frankfort?
When it started in 1980, the Historical Holiday House Walk included five homes, local artist Sue Corkery sketched each house on the tour, and tickets sold for $6.
Thirty years later, the cornerstones of this village institution remain the same. (Tickets, however, cost $25 now.) And that's part of what still draws people to the walk, said Judy Herder, president of the Frankfort Area Historical Society, the sponsor of the event.
This year's walk runs 5-10 p.m. today and features homes in Flagstone, Heritage Knolls, Cobblestone Walk and downtown Frankfort. The Frankfort Historical Museum will be open during the tour, serving cookies and wassail--a hot cider punch--provided by Enrico's. Tickets for the walk are sold out.
Herder has been part of the walk since its inception. In the beginning, she put the walk's program together on a typewriter (she uses a computer now), and she's seen homeowners' participation change over the years.
"There's a lot more decorating," Herder said of the differences in the walk over 30 years. "We only ask for a Christmas tree, but sometimes there's one in every room."
Even when traditions change, they still retain a bit of the old ways. When Joanne Warring stopped baking cookies for the event few years ago, lawyer John Clavio stepped in to help out that year. And he hasn't stopped, continuing to bake about 120 dozen cookies in 15 varieties, nine of them using Warring's old recipes.
"I grew up in a family where giving back to the community is what it's all about," said Clavio, who has lived in Frankfort for 10 years. "I don't know that there was a reason to do it, but there wasn't a reason not to do it."
Kristkindl Provides Backdrop for St. Nicholas, Cookies
Frankfort's 25th annual Kristkindl celebration returns to Breidert Green on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, starting with St. Nicholas, the German Christmas legend, on hand, passing out cookies--or wooden switches--from 1-4 p.m.
"The weekend is all about the magical moments that you can give your kids—that spirit of wonder," said Cindy Vassell, owner of the Pickwick Society Tearoom and member of the Frankfort Historic Business Association,which sponsors the event, along with the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Frankfort and the Frankfort Park District.
Over at Star Visions Photography, 4 W. Nebraska St., pint-size shoppers can find discounted gifts for everyone on their lists at the Secret Santa Workshop. Parents wait in the lobby while helper elves assist children with the buying, wrapping and tagging.
Hungry from all that shopping? Decorate a holiday cookie for free at Miritello's Pizza & Catering, 14 Elwood St., from 1-3 p.m. both days.
Is one cookie not enough? Then buy a ticket for the sixth annual Cookie Walk, sponsored by 20 downtown businesses. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased either day while supplies last at the Pickwick Society Tearoom, Chew on This Dog Barkery (offering both dog and people cookies), D'Marie Salon and Day Spa and White Street Gallery.
Tired from all that walking? Catch a ride around town on a horse drawn wagon for $3 per person (3 and younger are free).
Saturday's festivities end with a traditional German lantern parade at 4:45 pm, which leads St. Nicholas from the Frankfort Historical Museum down to Breidert Green where he'll tell stories around a bonfire. Youth parade walkers receive a free battery-powered lantern to carr and take home. Line up begins at 4 pm at the museum, 132 Kansas St.
On Sunday, the Rev. David Moffitt-Moore of St. Peter's United Church of Christ will conduct the Pet Blessing on the Green at 3 p.m., followed by a pet parade around the block. Holiday outfits are welcome.
Also starting this weekend, the 2010 Frankfort collectible ornament will go on sale through local merchants.
For more information about the weekend, go here.