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Follow Kankakee Valley Theatre Association as we take a trip down memory lane. Experience some of the most well-known Christmas stories and hear from the people that lived them. Our seven-vignette walking play will last approximately 90 minutes, and it will feature several Christmas classics including: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; The Christmas Truce of WW1; The Evolution of the Christmas Tree; The Publication of A Christmas Carol; The Nativity Story; Christmas Football 1971; and Story Time with The Polar Express. This event will take place in the evenings of Saturday, December 1st starting at 5:30 pm and Sunday, December 2nd starting at 5:00 pm. Participants should check-in 15 minutes before their scheduled time. Check-in and general merriment will be held inside the Civic Auditorium Warming House. Hot chocolate and mulled wine will be sold to warm you up while you enjoy a USO tour. Also, Santa will be available for photo opportunities with adults and children alike! From there, your guides will take you through the Kankakee County Museum where you will enjoy these classic stories of Christmas. Bring the children and let them experience it all first hand. They can bring a letter to Santa or a gift for baby Jesus. While they are at it, grab a cookie from Mrs. Ditka and learn how to salute from Alfred Smith of the 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. One lucky child from each group will be chosen to hang the star on the Christmas tree. Finally, join the children of the Polar Express while Mrs. Claus reads to them. The first 330 guests will receive a special gift at the conclusion of our story.


Also, be sure to enter our Favorite Christmas Memory Contest on the night of your guided tour!


Due to space limitations, NO STROLLERS will be allowed inside the museum. Bring the entire family and make some new holiday memories!

Cast List

Vignette 1:

Guide - Jordan Fox          

Keepers of Memories: Jim Temple and Maggie Temple - Don Parkison and Alitheia Barbee

Laura Virginia O’Hanlan - Colby Ogibovic

Francis Pharcellus Church - Editor - Richard Stenzinger

Vignette 2:

Guide - Adelaide Young

Keeper of Memories: Alfred Smith - 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment - Kevin Kohn

Rifleman C.H. Brazier - Queen's Westminster - Noah Stack

German Soldier - Chandler Cox

Vignette 3:

Guide - Gabriel Sterk     

Keepers of Memories: 17th Century German Tree Seller - Steve Worth

     20th Century American tree seller - Donna Worth

Jessica O'Donnell – Mother - Elizabeth James

Matthew O'Donnell – Father - Dave Smith

Ashley O'Donnell – Sister - Hailey Tapp

Christopher O'Donnell – Brother - Jace Hunt

Vignette 4:

Guide - Ava Nagel           

Edward Chapman - CC Publisher - Brandon Sterk

Catherine Dickens - Wife - Anna Van Hoff

Vignette 5:

Guide - Kristina James   

Keepers of Memories: Wise Men - Romero Lewis, Damon Routson, and Randy Fisher

Mary - Lindsey Long

Joseph - Kole El-Talabani

Vignette 6:

Guide - Tara Arseneau  

Keeper of Memories: Mike Ditka - Chris Wisniewski

Charlotte Ditka – Mother - Robin Haug

Michael Ditka Sr. – Father - Rob Bishir

Ashton Ditka – Brother - Ewan Lintner

Vignette 7:

Guide - Bethany Seyden

Bell Guides - Sara Bowman & Gwenavier Schultz

Keeper of Memories: Mrs. Claus - Katie Devries

     The Conductor - Polar Express - Bob Guastalli

Hero Girl - Aaliyah Lanum

Know-It-All - Elijah Sterk

Billy - Lonely Boy - Chance Graf

Gus - Toothless Boy - Ethan Tapp

Sarah - Lucy LeRoy

Chris - Hero Boy - Holden Hall

Warming House Performers:     

Santa Claus - John Haley

Elves - Brayden & Alexis Douglas

Warming House Guides - Marissa Vander Ploeg and Victoria Wisniewski

USO Performers - Becky Lowery, Jordan Emling, Kim Leheney

USO MC - Scott Porter

1940’s Waitress - Alexandra Sterk

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