Holiday Homecoming tradition continuesPublished 5:29pm Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Four Flags Garden Club’s annual Hometown Christmas event began 22 years ago with the filming of “Only the Lonely,” a major motion picture starring John Candy and Ally Sheedy.
The final scene was shot at the Niles Amtrak Depot, which was decorated with Christmas lights for the filming. Because the movie was shot in the summer, the studio used fake snow to create the illusion of the holiday season.
When the studio was done filming, the lights were left behind.
Not wanting to let the lights go to waste, the Four Flags Garden Club decided to create a holiday event featuring them. And thus, the first Holiday Homecoming was born the following Christmas.
“My favorite thing is that we are keeping a tradition going in this beautiful, historic city,” said Karen Persa, longtime garden club member. “It’s a lot of fun and we hope everyone will come out and enjoy it.”
Garden Club members spent several hours Tuesday getting the depot ready for this year’s event, which is scheduled to run from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Members decorated a large Christmas tree and placed topiaries in the many windowsills lining the west side of the station. They also placed wreaths and fresh greens inside and outside of the depot.
The event is free and open to the public.
The train depot lights will be turned on at 6 p.m.
Attendees can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, while enjoying homemade cookies, cider and candy.
Niles High School’s CounterPoints show choir will sing Christmas music.
Niles Mayor, Mike McCauslin, will address the group, and community Royalty will stop by.
A drawing will be held at 5:45 p.m. for two free round trip tickets, compliments of Amtrak, from Niles to Chicago. People must be present to win the tickets.