LAKE IN THE HILLS – The Lake in the Hills Village Hall was transformed into its own "Whoville" for an inaugural Flurry Fest.
The festival was held Saturday and saw more than 200 attendees, Recreation Supervisor Kristi Brewer said.
The village's Parks and Recreation Department previously hosted Santa's Festival of Trees for 15 years and wanted to take a whole new look at winter events, Brewer said.
Entering the "North Pole," 5-year-old Willow, of Algonquin, told Santa she hopes to receive Shopkins for Christmas. She said her favorite part about Christmas is getting to open gifts.
"I was excited to see Santa, this is the third time I've seen him and I can't wait [for Christmas]," Willow said.
A Deck the Deer competition was held where businesses were able to sponsor a deer and decorate a 4 or 6 foot tall plywood reindeer to match the theme of holiday pajamas.
Residents then were able to vote at the fest and on social media for their favorite reindeer decoration. Winners will be announced in early January.
A pack the bus food drive was also held and items were given to Grafton Food Pantry and the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry.
Dawn Kincaid, whose 22-year-old son was killed in a car crash in Harvard in August 2016, volunteered to help with creating sky lanterns. People could write either messages to Santa to send to the North Pole or write memories of loved ones.
"I think it's a way to be able to participate in an event and include our loved ones that aren't here to be present with us, so it gives us a way to continue to share their memory," Kincaid.
The lanterns were released into the sky that night.
April Davidson, of Algonquin, said she saw the event posted online and is all about anything free and fun to get her children out and active.
"It's a way to get some energy out on a Saturday night and the event was so nicely put together," Davidson said.
Her son most enjoyed Candy Cane Hunt held outside where children got to hunt for candy canes left out by Frosty the Snowman.