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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Holiday Festivities Kick Off In Greektown

Visitors can marvel at displays of karaváki — small, decorated boats — and enjoy a holiday tree lighting ceremony.

Holiday karavákia (little boats) on display.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — A blend of Greek traditions and holiday festivities are coming to Greektown. 

Festive blue and white lights have been strung along South Halsted Street to celebrate the start of the holidays in the neighborhood. A variety of events are planned, too.

Dec. 1-Jan. 15, more than 30 local artists selected by the Greektown Arts Committee will display karaváki — or small, decorated boats that are a Greek Christmas tradition — in the windows of stores throughout the neighborhood. 

A larger karaváki, painted by artist James Mesple, will be displayed near the temple at Elysian Field, 401 S. Halsted St. 

Greektown’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony will be 3-4 p.m. Dec. 12 at Elysian Field. As the lights go up, students from Greek schools throughout the Chicago area will sing traditional Greek carols, or kalanta, as well as American and Greek holiday songs played by DJ Yanni. Free hot chocolate and sweets will be available.

Through Dec. 31, shoppers and diners who spend at least $25 at three participating Greektown locations and a total of $250 can receive a $50 Visa gift card through the holiday shopper’s reward program.

Save your receipts to qualify for the rebate. A list of participating businesses can be found here

Programs and events are sponsored by Greektown Special Service Area 16 and supported by the Greektown Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation.

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