December 2 & 3, 2016

Celebrating Dundee's Community Spirit
During the Holiday Season

2016 marks the 29th 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 near 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
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

2016 Sponsors:

Event Sponsor:

Charles Dickens Sponsors:
Alan J. Coulson, P.C.
Children's House Montessori
Early Education Station
Spa Bleu

Underground Retrocade

Bob Cratchit Sponsors:
Bikini Bottom Bar
Blue Line Bar & Grill
Farmers Insurance - Dan Giacalone
Law Offices of Harlovic & Perko
Laird Funeral Home
Oxford Engineering
Petting Zoo Sponsor:
First American Bank

Fezziwig's Sponsor:
Tri-Cities Evergreen VFW Post 2298

Santa's Sleigh Sponsor:
Schock's Towing

Tiny Tim Sponsor:
Francesca's Campagna

Living Windows (West Dundee)
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Main St between 2nd St & the Fox River

Watch as the storefronts in downtown West Dundee come to life with holiday scenes. There will be a ton of great window displays to see, both traditional and contemporary, as well as special offerings and events from our downtown businesses. Many downtown businesses participate with live actors or holiday displays, while also some open their doors for treats or shopping.

We strongly encourage you to start at Francesca's and make your way east on the south side of Main Street to Around the Corner Candy. Then cross over Main at First Street and make your way back, ending at Emmett's.

Click to see which storefronts will be participating Living Windows in West Dundee.

Living Windows (West Dundee) 2016

Warming House & Santa Claus
FRIDAY 12/2, 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 deliver your Christmas wish list to the man in red.

Shop With A Cop Raffle
FRIDAY 12/2, 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!
  • Vizio 55" TV
  • Cuisinart Wine Cellar & Coopers Hawk Package
  • $150 Best Buy Gift Certificate
  • $50 Shell Gas Card

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

For advanced ticket sales, please visit the West Dundee Police Department at 555 S. 8th Street.

West Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
FRIDAY 12/2, 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 12/2, 7:00 – 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 complementary appetizers, a cash bar and live music. The St.John's Lutheran Church Bell Choir will perform from 7-8pm and and West Dundee's own Controlled Burn from 8-10pm.

"Toys For Tots" Toy Drive & Fundraiser
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00 pm — 8:00 am
And through December 10

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 these youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Toys for Tots donations will be collected at the following Dundee locations this holiday season:

Bikini Bottom Bar & Grill, 105-107 W Main (WD) - The Marines will be on hand at to personally collect donations for Toys for Tots from 6-9 pm on Friday, December 2. Monetary and new toy donations for Toys for Tots will be accepted here from November 1 through December 10.

Bii Hair Salon - 1955 Huntley Rd (WD) - from November 17 through December 9, 2016. For each toy donated, receive a raffle entry for an energy-efficient blow dryer and a Bii Salon gift certificate. Visit for hours of operation.

Randall Oaks Golf Club - 4101 Binnie Rd (WD) - Through December 3, 2016

East Dundee Village Hall, 120 Barrington Ave (ED)- from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, through December 9.

East Dundee Police Department, 115 E Third Street (ED)- from 8am-4pm Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, through December 9.

"The Polar Express" Pajama Storytime
FRIDAY 12/2, 7:00 pm

Barnes & Noble - Spring Hill Mall

All aboard! Come in you PJs for a magical evening at the The Polar Express Storytime at Barnes & Noble at Spring Hill Mall. Coloring and activities will follow, including writing a Dear Santa letter.

For more information, visit the Spring Hill Mall Barnes & Noble online events page.

Walk the Windows (East Dundee)
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Main St, River St, Barrington Ave & Meier St

In East Dundee, "Walk the Windows" throughout the Downtown Business District. Enjoy the new twist on an old favorite: Is that a blue Santa? Lollipop trees? Peer into their windows to view the holiday delights they'll be showcasing.

To add to the fun, glowing, dancing holiday sprites will appear here, there and everywhere. Snap a photo if you can catch them!

The following East Dundee businesses will be participating in Walk the Windows:

East Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
FRIDAY 12/2, 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.

Santa will welcome children in The Depot immediately following the ceremony. Take pictures with Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies provided by volunteers of the Dundee Township Visitor's Center. Donate cash or drop off canned goods to benefit Food For Greater Elgin.

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

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Holiday Twisted Tent
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00-9:00 pm

The Depot - 319 River Street, East Dundee

Join Neu Family Dental at the Depot on Friday during Living Windows. Enjoy photos with Dr. Seuss Characters, Holiday Movie Presentation, Kids Games, Givaways, Refreshments and Kids Make-It, Take-It Crafts.

Holiday Hayrides
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

The Depot - 319 River Street & Immanuel Lutheran Church - 310 E Main Street, East Dundee

Bundle up and enjoy a tractor-pulled hayride to view the holiday fun. Pick up and drop off points at The Depot on River Street and Immanuel Lutheran Church parking lot. Weather Permitting.

Chili Cook-Off
FRIDAY 12/2, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Immanuel Lutheran Church - 310 E Main Street, East Dundee

Stop by Immanuel Lutheran Church to sample different chili dishes and vote for your favorite. Hot dogs available too. $5 per person or $25 to enter the Chili Cook Off. For more info, visit

Spirit of Christmas Parade
SATURDAY 12/3, 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.

Parade Registration Form

Register by E-Mail or Fax: 847-551-3809 by Monday, November 21. Questions? call Village Hall at 847-551-3800.

Santa's Workshop
SATURDAY 12/3, 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 12/3, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Grafelman Park

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

Gingerbread House Construction
SATURDAY 12/3, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

First United Methodist Church - 4th & Main

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

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 12/3 & SUNDAY 12/4, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Nov 25 through Dec 11 (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 25 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 11.

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 Display
SATURDAY 12/3, 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 4, through approximately Sunday, December 11.

Sponsored by the Dundee Lions Club.

Reading of A Christmas Carol
SATURDAY 12/3, 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.

Breakfast with Santa
SATURDAY 12/3, 9:00 – 2:00 pm

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.

Sweets & Crafts Shop
SATURDAY 12/3, 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.

Dickens of a Christmas Sale / Bake Sale
SATURDAY 12/3, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 401 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 Bethlehem Lutheran's Bake Sale across the hall and/or come at lunchtime for soup and sandwiches (see below).

Soup & Sandwich Lunch
SATURDAY 12/3, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 401 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.

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

Cookie Walk, Boutique
SATURDAY 12/3, 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 – ornaments, ethnic dolls, afghans, scarves, hats, gifts and home decor – will also be on sale.

Be sure to stop at the 6th annual 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

Nativity Walk
SATURDAY 12/3, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Immanuel Lutheran Church - 310 E Main St, East Dundee

Immanuel Lutheran Church of East Dundee invites the public to view a gallery of nativity displays: old, new, handmade, miniature and many more! You will marvel at the unique ways the nativity story is presented.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Storytime
SATURDAY 12/3, 11:00 am

Barnes & Noble - Spring Hill Mall

"Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!" and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! We will have good deed badges and tracking booklets for kids to log all the good things they do this holiday season. Activities to follow.

For more information, visit the Spring Hill Mall Barnes & Noble online events page.

Fox Valley Men of Harmony Holiday Spectacular
SATURDAY 12/3, 2:00 pm

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

The Fox Valley Men of Harmony, a barbershop chorus, will perform a special holiday concert. Fun for all ages.

Please register at or call (847) 428-3661, press 3.

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas Movie Screenings
SATURDAY 12/3, 2:00 & 6:00 pm

Spring Hill Mall Center Court
1072 Spring Hill Mall, West Dundee

Hallmark and Comcast present Countdown to Christmas holiday movie screenings at Spring Hill Mall. The featured Hallmark Channel original movies include Christmas Land at 2pm and Northpole: Open For Christmasat 6pm.

Holiday specials and deals abound throughout Spring Hill Mall. Take this opportunity to get some shopping done!

Dickens Decorating Contest

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 for this year are as follows:

Best Nostalgic Display (think Norman Rockwell)
Best Use of Lighting
Best Clark Griswold (excessive lights & decorations)
Best Decorated Business
Best Decorated Block *

Register your house, block or business by Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by sending an email to If you do not have email access, stop by West Dundee Village Hall 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 3 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.

Vote online at the Dickens in Dundee & Holiday Decorating Contest Facebook Event page - Voting has been extended until December 10 at midnight. You do not have to have a Facebook account to view the entries. If you are unable to vote directly on Facebook, please email your vote(s) to Please include the category name and the entry number in the category for which you would like to vote.

Winners will be notified directly and posted online. 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.

Winter Wonderland Display
Dec 2 through Dec 31

Enjoy strolling amid the colorful, lit walkways and trees. Snap a photo of your favorite someone at holiday cut outs found throughout the area. Sponsored by Neu Family Dental.

Dickens Breakfast
SUNDAY 12/4, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

VFW Post 2298
117 S. First Street, West Dundee

The West Dundee VFW is hosting not one, but two holiday breakfasts this year. Stop by between 8am & Noon on Sun, Nov 27 and Sun, Dec 4 for a made-to-order breakfast, including eggs, bacon, potatoes and other favorites.

A Bethlehem Christmas Experience
Dec 9 & 10, 5-8 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
401 W Main, West Dundee

The celebration continues the week after Dickens in Dundee, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. A Bethlehem Christmas Experience will include guided 30-minute walking tours of live acting scenes with a spiritual and social message. This poignant, sometimes amusing portrayal of events before, during and after the birth of Christ will give viewers of all ages a positive spirit to carry through the holiday season.

The outdoor playlets in our church courtyard will feature members of the congregation in costume on sets with sound effects and lighting. The presentation will include:

  • An Angel Appears to Mary: the moments during which Mary learns from Gabriel that she will be the mother of Jesus

  • No Room at the Inn: Joseph’s and Mary’s arrival in Bethlehem and hearing that they will have no place to stay for Jesus’ birth

  • Shepherds Hear the Good News: an evening surprise for frightened, excited shepherds who journey to find the newborn Jesus

  • Behold Your Savior (The Shepherds’ Visit): the incredible opportunity of the shepherds to be the Holy Family’s first visitors

  • Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (The Three Kings Visit): the humbling experience of distant leaders as they visit the young Jesus

  • Jesus is Grace, Forgiveness and Love (Today’s Savior): a sobering, shocking look into modern life’s challenges and how faith helps to address them

To see A Bethlehem Christmas Experience, take advantage of ample, assisted parking on and around the church property. Check in at the east entrance to the red brick church at 401 W Main St. in West Dundee. While the event is free, donations of canned goods for the FISH food pantry are welcome. Refreshments, entertainment, optional building tours and surprises for the youngest visitors will be offered. Guides will assemble groups prior to beginning the outdoor experience.