The celebratory grand opening of the new Oakbrook Center Village Green is designed to enchant visitors from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Oakbrook Center will host a highly interactive and theatrical event to commemorate the completion of a two-year renovation at the shopping destination. From art demonstrations and live reindeer to a pyrotechnic performance, the event will feature unusual activities and entertainment for the whole family.
"We have a lot to celebrate this year, so we are going above and beyond to create an unmatched holiday atmosphere for our guests," said Suzanne Cook-Beres, senior marketing manager for Oakbrook Center. "We're blending beloved seasonal traditions with modern technology and design to create a new-age holiday celebration."
Cast of characters
Guests that evening will be treated to a cast of characters ranging from strolling carolers in Cloud White Momentary Opera costumes to a 12-foot-tall Old Man Winter dressed in a snow-kissed woodland robe, featuring moss, stick and straw, and snow accents complete with holly wreath accents.
Leading the mystical band of merry makers will be an ethereal Snow Maiden on stilts in an elaborately structured gown specially made for the Oakbrook Center event, featuring natural patterns and materials – its fabrics embellished with shimmering icicle and delicate seasonal details. Joined by authentic reindeer and a team of trusty elves, she and Old Man Winter will greet guests and pose for photos.
Also debuting a new look will be Santa Claus himself. Guests can visit jolly old St. Nick inside Oakbrook Center's new Glass Pavilion, next to the Village Green. The fireplace inside the pavilion will glow all season.
Other activities planned for the holiday kick-off celebration include collaborative arts and crafts for kids and parents alike. An artist will be on hand to help kids make custom top hats full of color and embellishments. Other special treats include a candy sculptor who will design edible art during the event. The elaborate candy creations are made in minutes, using a small handful of molten corn syrup candy, a pair of old-fashioned Japanese scissors, chopsticks and a fine paint brush.
Capping off the inaugural event will be an Illuminated Lantern Night Processional commencing at 7:15 p.m. from the Village Green. It will parade around the Vortex Fountain to the Glass Pavilion. Kids in their custom top hats are invited to participate in the processional, led by The Mobile Dj Unit.
The parade will feature a dozen oversized incandescent paper lanterns worn by costumed performers and suspended 9 feet above the ground by specially designed backpacks. A team of eight Bell and Antler reindeer characters donning real stag antlers and customized costumes with hundreds of bells will jingle alongside their illuminating counterparts.
At the end of the parade, the lanterns and reindeer characters will join DJ Fire on the Village Green for a music and fire performance. Sitting atop a two-tiered custom-built fork lift, DJ Fire will play techno-inspired holiday tunes on his exclusive Fire Organ a 12-pipe instrument that releases flames up to 15 feet high and in synchronized time to the music. A pyrotechnics show will cap the celebration.
More information about the Oakbrook Center Holiday Celebration and other holiday happenings can be found online at www.oakbrookcenter.com, as well as www.facebook.com/OakbrookCenter and Twitter via @OakbrookCenter.
Oakbrook Center on the corner of Route 83 and 22nd St. (Cermak Road). The center features more than 160 shops and restaurants. For complete information, visit www.oakbrookcenter.com or call 630-573-0700.