The Festival of Lights Recap

Grant High School’s Dedicated Participation in Community


Grant Band

Grant’s Marching Band preparing for The Festival of Lights Parade.

Dylaeni A, News Writer

The Annual Festival of Lights, a Holiday celebration in the Fox Lake Millenium Park had Grant’s Chamber Singers and Marching Band working hard as they prepared. Grant’s participation in The Festival of Lights is deeply rooted in the community, a history of bringing many members of these extracurriculars dedicate their own time to the event, according to Savannah Eagon, a member of both Chamber Singers and Marching Band they’ve” been preparing it like, on (their) own”. Grant’s student involvement in this community event flows deep in the Fox Lake community. The High School has been participating for over 23 years, according to Ms. Koske, Choir Director. She says, “… This is my 23rd year and I mean, I think there were a couple of years we didn’t do it for various reasons, of course, COVID and things like that, but 23 years; essentially with a couple of breaks here and there”. Grant’s involvement with this festive event has stuck with the event, even before it was as it is now. “Before that, like I did when I was in high school, I performed for the tree lighting, but it wasn’t always called the Festival of Lights ‘, says Koske. Decades of Grant students work hard to put together a wonderful performance for the people of the community. Even despite their hard work preparing for the Winter Choir Concert, “We have a whole lot.” ” It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Silver Bells, Let it Snow, Combination of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Frosty the Snowman, we’re working on It’s Beginning to Look, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, we’re doing a silent night, we’re doing We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and the list goes on. The Marching Band also dedicated their own personal time to the preparation, and have been active in The Festival of Lights for nearly as long as the Choir has. Grant’s involvement in events like this enriches the community, and creates a sense of family and festivities within every person in that community. 


When attending the festival, the day is jam-packed with holiday-themed festivities for all ages alike. Starting at 3:00 PM, Fox Lake hosts their version of the popular Chris Cringle market in the park, near the community gardens often used by Grant’s Environmental Club. In this market, different members of the Fox Lake community can sell their art, crafts, food, or any other things they might make. This is a fantastic outlet for smaller community businesses to get publicity and sales. As the day progresses and the sky turns dark, the

parade starts at Grant High School at 5:00 PM. As members of the community come to sit and wait for the parade to reach their viewing spot, there is a stage and live performers hired to host caroling for parade-goers. During the parade, which contains floats of all kinds of businesses in the community decorated in holiday lights, the performers hold a vote for the best decorations. The parade featured Grant’s very own marching band, decorated themselves with festive sweaters and holiday songs to play. As the parade concludes, people flock to Fox Lake’s Millenium Park, where Grant’s Chamber Singers get ready to sing the songs they worked hard to prepare. After some caroling from the Chamber Singers, they light the tree, bridges, gazebo, and pathways with extravagant Christmas lights. For the younger kids, Santa’s Hut is also opened, and they have the opportunity to meet him. There are tables of Pizza and Hot Chocolate, and lines of people flock to see what food and lights there are to see. As many wander around, hot chocolate and cameras in hand, the community is enriched and filled with holiday spirit. Pageant participants, Singers, Students, Band Members, Teachers, Mothers, Fathers, Business Owners, Police, Firefighters,  and so many more come together and enjoy one moment together, differences aside. An opportunity such as this is the glue that holds Fox Lake’s community to its small town, family feeling. In an event like this, for the sake of celebrating Christmas or just to see the lights, the love and happiness that is felt throughout the people in the community allows even those who feel the least seen to find a sense of belonging. Grant High School takes a piece of the community home with it every year its students participate. Working hard and spreading the Holiday cheer, Grant Community Highschool’s Chamber Singers, Marching Band, and all members of the surrounding community bring the love home with them.

Grant’s Chamber Singers choir at the Festival of Lights. (Grant Choir)