244. Barrington Aglow Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Barrington Aglow

Downtown Barrington will be buzzing this Saturday afternoon as the community comes out out for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and visits with Santa.

Barrington Aglow

The festivities begin at Noon on December 4th and last until 7PM. There will be free carriage rides, Madrigal Singers and extended evening shop and restaurant hours. But the highlight will be happening right at 5PM…

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243. Barrington Police & Fire Coat & Toy Drive

Coat and Toy Drive for Barrington Giving Day

The bone-chilling temperatures have returned to Barrington and warm coats have, once again, become a necessity. But there are hundreds of families in the Barrington area who need a little extra help staying warm this year and Barrington’s Police and Fire Departments are taking action.

Coat and Toy Drive for Barrington Giving Day

It’s the final push to collect donations for families who really need a lift this holiday season…

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242. Santa Letters at the Barrington Park District

Letters to Santa from Barrington, Illinois

With Santa’s visit right around the corner, your kids have probably been dreaming of what they’ll find under the tree on Christmas morning. And can you believe Santa has asked the Barrington Park District to help him handle his holiday fan mail from Barrington this year?

Letters to Santa from Barrington, Illinois

That’s right, the Barrington Park District is accepting letters on behalf of Santa through this upcoming Saturday, December 4th.

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241. Enter the Barrington Holiday Sweepstakes

Celebrate Barrington Holiday Sweepstakes

The spotlight is on small businesses today, dubbed “Small Business Saturday” by American Express.  The credit card company offered a $25 statement credit for members who used their cards to make purchases at small businesses today.  But did you know the Village of Barrington has also created a special new incentive for people to shop at small businesses here in Barrington?  It’s a contest called the “Celebrate Barrington Holiday Sweepstakes”, it’s easy to enter and the prizes could help you put more presents under the tree.

Celebrate Barrington Holiday Sweepstakes

Here’s how it works…

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240. Welcome Santa & Mrs. Claus Back to Barrington

Santa Arrival at the Ice House Mall

There’s a special party planned for Santa, Mrs. Claus and their Elf when they return to Barrington’s Ice House Mall tomorrow for the 2010 Christmas season. They’ll be reading books for an hour and offering milk, cookies and coloring books tomorrow morning from 10-11AM.

Santa Arrival at the Ice House Mall

Be sure to bring your own camera, your kids and their wish lists tomorrow or during any of Santa’s scheduled hours this season. He’ll be on hand for a special “Breakfast with Santa” in December. And here’s a look at the hours when he’ll be welcoming visitors:

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239. Celebrate a Barrington Thanksgiving

Snow and Football on Thanksgiving

As I promised, I’ve been compiling a list of favorite Thanksgiving traditions and reasons to be thankful this year in Barrington. I didn’t meet my goal of polling 30 people. But I made it to 15 and, for that, I am thankful, kind of like making it Halfway to Hana! Of all the “favorite traditions” I heard this month, the most popular ways to celebrate here in Barrington involve family, relaxation, neighbors and football.

Snow and Football on Thanksgiving

Past Stickney Famly Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl

I’m starting our list today with Barrington Bank and Trust President, Jon Stickney…

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238. "Guess Where Wednesday" & Last Week’s Winner

Guess Where Wednesday Weekly Mystery Photo Contest at 365Barrington.com

It’s funny how powerful the senses can be.  Beautiful music that brings back memories of my childhood makes me well up the minute I hear it. When I’m freaking out on an airplane and my husband holds my hand, I instantly feel (a little) calmer.  And the smell of my parents’ house on Thanksgiving tells me, unmistakably, that I am home.  So I thought today this would be an appropriate mystery photo for Thanksgiving week.

Guess Where Wednesday Weekly Mystery Photo Contest at 365Barrington.com

Can you guess where in Barrington I took this picture? You’ve probably driven past this sign a million times and we have a great prize for the winner of this new photo contest. We’ll get to this week’s prize in a minute. But first, let’s talk about last week’s winner. Just moments ago we drew the winning name and it is…

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237. Garnish Your Holiday Table Like Chef Erin Bailey

Cooking with Erin Bailey

Sometimes little details can add a world of elegance to your Thanksgiving table. That’s what Barrington chef, Erin Bailey says. And, when it comes to cooking, Erin’s a local expert. She’s a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and, for years, she ran La Pomme de Pin, a specialty foods market and catering business she started right here in Barrington.

Cooking with Erin Bailey

I recently dropped by to see Erin when she was preparing a pre-Thanksgiving meal at home. She was making mashed potatoes and the conversation quickly turned to one of her favorite subjects, food. “If you start with good ingredients, the preparation can be really simple.”

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236. Free Money at Deer Park Town Center

Deer Park mall Holiday Gift Card Giveaway

 OK…so maybe it’s not actually free MONEY, but it’s the next best thing. Deer Park Town Center will be giving away free Gift Cards the morning after Thanksgiving  to reward the early-bird shoppers on Black Friday. All you have to do is roll out of bed early on Friday and plan a morning (or a whole day) of exershopping … Read more…

235. Help Replenish Dwindling Food Pantry Supplies

Managing the Cuba Township Food Pantry

The grocery stores will be packed this week with people pushing baskets overflowing with all the fixins for Thanksgiving dinner. It’ll be hectic, it’ll be crazy and the cash registers will be working overtime. But there’s a growing group of Barrington families who won’t be making that big trip to the grocery store because times are really tight this year. “Every dime is going to put a roof over their head, gas in their car and heat in their home.” Kate Formichella of the Cuba Township Food Pantry says, “For some people it’s a huge shock to realize that they have to ask for food. But I can say there is not one single neighborhood that has not been affected in Cuba Township.”

Managing the Cuba Township Food Pantry

Cheryl Tanaka & Kate Formichella at the Cuba Township Food Pantry

Cheryl Tanaka and Kate Formichella are Cuba Township’s community liaisons and they’ve been very busy filling 70 boxes of stuffing, gravy, green beans, potatoes, turkey coupons, bread…all the basics needed to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. 70 families this year, in Cuba Township alone, have asked the pantry for food to make their holiday meal on Thursday. Kate says, “When I started here there were only 25 families who asked for help and that was five years ago.” That’s an increase of almost 300-percent!

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