Irvine Park Christmas Village adds a Victorian touch -…
The wonderful folks at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls strive to create a spectacular experience with their Christmas Village every year, and this year they’re adding a historic touch. Since 1987, Irvine Park (125 Bridgewater Ave., Chippewa Falls) has staged a spectacular light show for park guests to view and experience. Amid the 100,000 historic lights and prop houses that make up part of the exhibition, this year will mark the first time that volunteer actors will be featured, dressed in costume to replicate Victorian life during the Christmas season. The special event will take place on Friday, December 16.
Irvine Park intern Alexis Linder worked to organize the event and create a publicly engaging and historically accurate experience. While looking for volunteers for the event, Alexis was thrilled to have received over 20 responses of interest in the first week of planning.
Irvine Park is a staple of the Chippewa Valley community, so seeing the interest and support from volunteers ages 4 to 75 has been great for the program. Volunteers working at the event will receive information about their role in history to educate and aesthetically enhance the Victorian village.
This new aspect of the Christmas Village is something John Jimenez, the city’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, has been considering employing for some time and happily passed the project on to Alexis, a current graduate student. at UW-Water. Clear. “I learned that over the past few years groups from the community had volunteered as singers during the event, which I thought was great,” Jimenez said. “Afterwards, I asked myself: ‘How can we improve?’ and one of the first things that came to mind was an immersive experience for the community.
The Irvine Park Christmas Village is an event where guests can peruse the park’s historic sites and props while admiring the organized Christmas lights.
If you want to meet the actors and learn more about the history of the village, you can also walk around the light show and happily chat with the volunteers. Expect to see the members of this village come to life as actors wear costumes rented from a theater in Wausau.
In 1910, William Irvine donated much of his property to the Parks Department on the condition that the park remain free for community use, a condition that has remained important to the park even to this day. With that in mind, the Victorian Christmas Village is free to anyone who wants to experience it.
This historic immersion is a one-day event, so be sure to clear your schedule on Friday, December 16, as the event runs from 5-6:30 p.m. While the Costume Villages will only be there that night, the entire Christmas Village light show begins on Thanksgiving night and ends on January 1. During this time, the park will be open Monday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Find out more about the Christmas Village on the City of Chippewa Falls website.