244. Barrington Aglow Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

244.  Barrington Aglow Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

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

243. Barrington Police & Fire Coat & Toy Drive

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

242. Santa Letters at the Barrington Park District

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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240. Welcome Santa & Mrs. Claus Back to Barrington

240.  Welcome Santa & Mrs. Claus Back to Barrington

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

239.  Celebrate a Barrington 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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237. Garnish Your Holiday Table Like Chef Erin Bailey

237. Garnish Your Holiday Table Like Chef 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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235. Help Replenish Dwindling Food Pantry Supplies

235.  Help Replenish Dwindling Food Pantry Supplies

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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233. New Skating Plaza Opening in South Barrington!

233.  New Skating Plaza Opening in South Barrington!

I have a bad habit of overusing exclamation points, but today, I simply HAD to put one in our title! Because, one week from today, the area’s only Open-Air Skating Rink will be opening for business in South Barrington. They’re busy setting it up at the South Barrington Arboretum and there are two big events tied to the outdoor “Skating Plaza’s” grand opening next weekend. The first is an appearance by “Skates”, the Chicago Wolves Mascot.

Skates the Chicago Wolves Mascot

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231. Guess Where Wednesday & Last Week’s Winner

231.  Guess Where Wednesday & Last Week’s Winner

So it’s clear to me now that local history is no mystery in Barrington! We had a record-breaking number of guesses come in last week when we published our “mystery photo” from the Barrington Area Library archives. More on that in a minute. But first, we have an AWESOME prize for the winner of our new mystery photo contest. So let’s get to it! I cropped this picture to make it a little more challenging. Can you guess what this is a picture of?

Guess Where Wednesday

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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228. Sign Up for the South Barrington Gobbler Gallop

228.  Sign Up for the South Barrington Gobbler Gallop

South Barrington is continuing a brand new tradition by hosting the second annual “Gobbler Gallop” one week from today on Sunday, November 21st. The 5K run and 1 mile walk is a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving season because you’ll be helping two important causes AND get a great workout at the same time.

Gobbler Gallop in South Barrington

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227. Pre-holiday Stress Buster at Norge Ski Lodge

227.  Pre-holiday Stress Buster at Norge Ski Lodge

Now here’s a cozy way to kick off the holiday shopping season! Citizens for Conservation is hosting party tomorrow, November 14th, where you can shop for gifts, play Texas Hold’em, sip fine wines, sample great foods and socialize with friends alongside a roaring fire at Norge Ski Club. The dress code is casual, but ski sweaters are encouraged and we’re all invited.

Citizens for Conservation Fundraiser at Norge Ski Club

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224. “Guess Where Wednesday” & Last Week’s Winner

224.  “Guess Where Wednesday” & Last Week’s Winner

We’re going back in time for this week’s “Mystery Photo” here at 365Barrington.com. This picture comes straight from the Barrington Area Library’s archive of historic photos. You can’t take a picture like this today because this building is no longer standing. But if you’ve been in Barrington a while, this one will probably be obvious. Can you guess what this is a picture of?

Historic Photos of Barrington, Illinois

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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221. Go Inside Don Murphy’s Weathervane Workshop

221.  Go Inside Don Murphy’s Weathervane Workshop

Sometimes the most interesting people happen to be our very own neighbors. They’re great talents who are living quietly among us and, in Don Murphy’s case, producing beautiful works of art privately at home. Don says he’s been called the “Last of the Mohicans”, one of the few people in the world creating custom copper weathervanes from intricate hand-carved designs. You might not recognize Don if you passed him on the street. But if you’ve ever been to Barrington’s Metra Station, you know his work.

Barrington Metra Weathervane

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

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

Last Wednesday’s Halloween mystery photo here at 365Barrington.com was a tough one. You really needed your thinking cap to figure out where the photo of those two little chocolate ghosts was taken. But we have a winner and a great new prize for this week’s contest. We’ll get to those in a minute. But first, here is our new mystery photo of the week. I found something with a football theme to mark the end of a great Bronco’s Football season. Can you guess where I was when I took this picture?

Guess Where Wednesday

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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