USF “Stuffing” the Calendar with 2017 Christmas Events

Nov. 15, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

Like elves in Santa’s workshop, the University of St. Francis (USF) has been very busy putting together a series of holiday programs for the entire Joliet community to enjoy for the 2017 Christmas season.

On Friday, Nov. 24, USF will sponsor the Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade for the 12th consecutive year. Hosted by the Joliet City Center Partnership every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the festival features children’s activities taking place throughout downtown starting at 10 a.m. Events include pictures with Santa, ice sculpture carving and festivities at the Rialto Square Theatre. City of Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, USF President Arvid Johnson and USF mascot and parade grand marshal Bernie the St. Bernard will light the big Christmas tree on the Van Buren Plaza at 5 p.m. and lead the parade down Chicago St. immediately after.

On your way to the parade, be sure to tune in to WCSF for the annual “Spirit of Christmas” radio program. Commercial free and covering all genres of Christmas music, the Spirit of Christmas begins at noon on Thanksgiving day and runs through noon on Jan. 2, 2018. Listen on-air in Will County at 88.7 FM or online at

As part of the Music at Moser Performing Arts Series, the USF choral ensembles will enliven the 2017 Christmas season with their “Christmas at the Motherhouse: Gaudete!” performance on Dec. 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel. This concert of celebratory music will feature Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” complemented by selections ranging from chant and medieval music to jazz, African and contemporary settings of works for Christmas.
The Joliet Symphony Orchestra (JSO) will also join in on the holiday fun with their “Christmas Classics-Into the Woods” performance on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium. The JSO will take the audience on a musical sleigh ride through the woods to perform holiday favorites as well as Prokofiev’s beloved “Peter and the Wolf.” The concert will also feature the winning work from the JSO’s 2017 Composition Competition: Christopher Lowry’s “A Cypress Prelude” led by USF Director of Orchestral Activities Alexandra Dee.

Tickets and additional information for these performances are available at

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 4,100 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.